According to a report by the Finnish News Agency STT, a growing number of young people in Finland are facing homelessness. There were 850 homeless people under the age of 25 last year, which makes up one-fifth of Finland’s entire homeless population, as per the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA).
The Finnish Customs (Tulli) has said that Finland is experiencing a “cocaine boom.” MTV reports that around one in every 10 men aged 25–34 has admitted to experimenting with the drug.
Youth homelessness on the rise in Finland
Youth homelessness is on the rise in Finland despite it being frequently unreported, according to an article by STT. The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) estimates that young people below the age of 25 made up one-fifth of Finland’s homeless population last year.
However, experts believe the number is probably even higher, as homeless youth are often excluded from statistics. The figures do not reflect, for instance, young people who are officially registered as living with their parents but spend most nights on the streets.
A poor financial situation is often a key cause of youth homelessness in Finland, with the COVID-19 crisis worsening pre-existing financial problems for several families.
Customs: Finland is experiencing a cocaine boom
According to Finnish customs, the country is currently in the throes of a cocaine boom. Hannu Sinkkonen, Director of Customs Supervision, told MTV that while a few grams of the drug used to be smuggled into Finland earlier, the agency is regularly seizing several kilos now.
Karoliina Karjalainen, a researcher with THL reveals that the recreational drug is especially popular among young adult males aged 25–34. Cocaine was reportedly involved in over 400 cases of drug addiction in Finland in 2020.