OSLO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- A new survey showed that 6,000 people in Norway suffer from serious addiction in combination with mental disorders, newspaper Aftenposten reported Saturday.
According to the research, conducted by Norwegian hospital Helse Stavanger, around 20,000 people who receive help from welfare services have both addiction problem and mental disorder, out of which 6,000 make a high-risk group.
Their life conditions are at a critically low level and a group of national experts regards this as a failure of the state system.
"It is one of the most difficult groups for a welfare state to take care of," said Lars Lien, head of Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Concurrent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders (ROP).
"All the problems they have are tripled or quadrupled. They die 20 to 35 years earlier than the rest of the population. They have almost no life quality. Suicide numbers are high. The risk of being exposed to violence is higher. They have a horrible time", said Lien.
An important reason that the high-risk group often does not get necessary help is the division of Norwegian support apparatus, he said.
"There is a treatment of addiction on the one side, and treatment of mental disorder on the other. That is why people with both addiction and mental problems have not received the help they need," Lien said.
Amund Aakerholt, psychologist and advisor at ROP, said "too often we see that users with comprehensive problems are placed in social apartments with no goal and intention of follow-up."
Lien added that support apparatus is too focused on medicines and coercion.
"The key is to give these people treatment where they live. We know that they need an offer from a team. They do not have possibility to 'run a slalom' between all possible public agencies," he said.