• Sweden edition
 
Mum slams minister over Swedish MP's drug death

Mum slams minister over Swedish MP's drug death

Published: 10 Sep 2012 08:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Sep 2012 08:55 GMT+02:00

"I don't understand what's taking so long. Maria Larsson has to realize she needs to hurry. Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen," Petzäll's mother Annika told the Expressen newspaper.

The comments came following a televised debate on Sverges Television (SVT) on Sunday night including Maria Larsson, Sweden's Minister for Children and the Elderly who handles the public health portfolio, and opposition MP Hillevi Larsson of the Social Democrats.

Following the death of Petzäll, 24, a debate has heated up in Sweden over how the country should deal with drug addicts.

Critics, including Petzäll, argue that Sweden's current policies are overly moralizing and treat addicts like criminals, often with fatal results.

According to SVT, there were 487 drug-related deaths in Sweden last year, the highest figure ever recorded.

Social Democrat MP Hillevi Larsson argued that methadone treatment in Sweden should be expanded.

"There is a lot of research that shows methadone saves lives, yet we limit access," she said.

"The queues take years and people are dropping like flies."

She added that there are many cases where addicts are thrown out of treatment programmes for relapses, despite a lack of research supporting such actions.

"Mortality goes up twenty-fold for those who are thrown out," Hillevi Larsson said on SVT.

Minister Maria Larson of the Christian Democrats admitted there were deficiencies in Sweden's drug addiction treatment system and that queues were too long.

"Addiction and dependency treatment has been made a lower priority by many county councils. What's important to point out is that there is insufficient access to methadone in the country," Maria Larsson told SVT.

"It's not acceptable that we can't meet the need."

However, when asked whether she would see to it to increase access to methadone treatment promgrammes, the minister responded that the government has already engaged in a nationwide awareness effort and created an watchdog body in order to see exactly what the situation is in different counties and municipalities.

Discussion also turned to a government inquiry on the matter, ordered by Maria Larsson and completed 18 months ago, which found that Sweden had failed in its aim to provide addicts treatment.

Larsson explained that nothing has happened in part because comments on the inquiry have been so varied.

"All 25 comments have different opinions," she said, adding that the government promised to act on the inquiry before next summer.

However, the minister's response didn't sit well with Social Democrat MP Hillevi Larsson, who demanded the government "do something" with the inquiry.

And the mother of the late MP Petzäll, also took the government and Maria Larsson to task for being slow to come up with new legislation based on the inquiry.

"This inquiry has been sitting there finished for a long time," Annika Petzäll told Expressen.

"[Maria Larsson] is going to have more lives on her conscience the longer she waits."

Petzäll believes her son would still be alive if he had been able to received treatment in another part of the country.

"I think Maria Larsson could at least promise to offer addicts treatment in other counties if their own are incompetent," Petzäll told the paper.

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

11:17 September 10, 2012 by olga118
So they treat the addicts like criminals and they treat the criminals like guests. Interesting.
11:45 September 10, 2012 by riose
To put this into contex, this guy was a member of SD, entered Riksdag at 22, was caught several times displaying radical behavior, confronted the police and was convicted for having illegal drugs.
12:49 September 10, 2012 by whoye
what can possibly recovered heroin addict might do that would benefit the society? i'm not bashing all of them but chances are that this guy would rob you in the broad daylight just for getting his dope
14:35 September 10, 2012 by Uncle
What this mother should be doing is hanging herself for providing her son with totally incorrect tools for making choices in life.

This was her ONLY responsibility in life as a parent and she obviously cannot call it a success. Instead of whining and ¤%itching on TV about the government, she should simply go and buy a good rope with quality soap.
16:54 September 10, 2012 by cattie
@Uncle

A many words come to mind in description of you post.

Ignorant is probably most accurate.
18:15 September 10, 2012 by Rishonim
@Uncle, that's rather harsh thing to write about the poor grieving mum. I guess you neither have a mum or kids so you wouldn't understand her pain.

@olga, yes indeed. The easiest way to lose friends in Sweden is to tell them you have smoked some grass. Therefore I can understand how a generation of people can ostracize someone who has a drug problem. The Swedish establishment has succeeded in brain washing its citizen in believing that people with drug addiction are the skum of the earth and they deserve what they get.
19:03 September 10, 2012 by Iraniboy
Drug addicts usually belong two different groups in developed countries. The first group is one who lacks self-esteem, fun or information with usually low understanding capabilities. It is up to the society and also the family and friends to guide these people and save them from addition. The other group are more intelligent people who choose this path since they think this is the way they want to spend their short life. As a matter of fact, a parliamentary member cannot belong to the first group and reach such a high political standing. So she should realize that her criticisms although valid in general doesn't apply to his son.
20:30 September 10, 2012 by olga118
If guidance and love could keep people from becoming addicted that would be wonderful, unfortunately it isn't proven by medical science. People who are dealing with addiction issues need medical and psychological treatment to overcome their addiction. Individuals AND society benefit from addiction treatment.
22:59 September 10, 2012 by Uncle
cattie

Mmm. I LOVE a good argument. Yours was the best so far.

Rishonim

Lets start that you know jack about me and there is a small chance you will. Let us also say, that mujahadeen also have grieving mums and the fact that they are GRIEVING does not make them a parental success... however your moral standard surely applies for them also?

Now, if you would actually argumentative, you would see that this wonderful pride of his mommy was caught on tape singing neo-nazi songs once and as much a I sympathize with SD politics NOW, one cannot deny some sort of parental gaps in education.

Then this success of a guy was arrested for PUBLIC intoxication as a politician and immediately got into drug rehab (which was not enough according to his wonderful ascendant).

It took him 3 months to stay away from drugs. Talk about good family support.

He was found dead from overdose in his MOTHER'S house. Talk about firm and attentive parent helping a child in need and accompanying him in his difficult times (given that the financial situation could allow it in this case).

Now, there is no denial that environment can impact decision-making. However even in the ghetto (way far away from this guy's parents villa) there are kids who say no to drugs. THIS is the impact of correct education.

What is mostly irritating, is that after it is clear that the guy had issues and did not get nearly enough effort from his family, she has the guts to come out publicly and blame OTHERS in her son's overdose.

EVERYTHING can be hanged on society. Rape, murder, paedophilia, exploding in crowd of small children, drug selling and slave trading. Even Freud insisted that most of our actions and choices are originated from home and mainly due to the influence of MOTHERS.
23:44 September 10, 2012 by DAVID T
@Uncle

You have mother issues - did mommy not treat you right?
08:14 September 11, 2012 by jeffi_in_denmark
Righto: I am a mother. Of many. All grown, healthy, productive adults. Now that this is taken care of...

Uncle, I think I know who you are :-) And I think we go back a long long way.

I also think you are mostly right. What amazes me the most is that this 22 year old unemployed, no life experience, former drug addict actually got elected to national office. Is that correct?

I'm sorry he died of an overdose. I'm sorry his mother has to go through this. But drug addicts engage in criminal activity. At one point, most of them had a choice in their lifestyle options. Some do not, but this acticle is not about them.

Does society have an obligation to rehabilitate deliberate criminals? No, not really. Is it tragic to lose someone who could have been a productive member of society? Yes, it is. Folks, not every soul can be saved. That is the harsh reality of life. It is saddening, yes yes it is, but one cannot look to government to take care of one cradle to grave. Gotta grow up some time.

And yes, I do come from a socialist country, with a decent welfare state arrangement, originally :-)
Today's headlines
National
Stockholm bomb investigation to cease
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm bomb investigation to cease

Sweden’s Security Service (SAPO), is expected to announce that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

National
Chainsaw man destroys house in family feud
The man used a chainsaw to destroy most of the Lidköping home. Photo: Shutterstock

Chainsaw man destroys house in family feud

A man in central Sweden has gone on a rampage with a chainsaw after a family housing dispute took an unexpected turn. READ  

National
Man frames beggar with stolen tablet computer
The beggar was detained for almost 24 hours after the accusation. Photo: TT

Man frames beggar with stolen tablet computer

A man in southern Sweden has landed in hot water after he stole a tablet computer, gave it to a beggar, then reported her to the police. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military seeks 'patience' in sub search
The Swedish Armed Forces have sent out 200 troops. Photo: TT

Military seeks 'patience' in sub search

Sweden's military says it has no plans to downsize the search for a possible foreign submarine and is prepared to force any suspect weapon to the surface of the sea, "with weapons if necessary". READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'
Former navy officer Bosse Linden in Vaxholm. Photo: Maddy Savage

Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'

Stockholm's archipelago is the focus of the biggest military operation in Sweden since the Cold War. The Local is in the region's capital, Vaxholm, to see what residents make of the drama. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers

CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers

Tired of losing money when you send cash back home? Join other expats in Sweden who avoid bank fees and hidden charges by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair, an online marketplace where secure transactions are faster and cheaper. READ  

European Union
Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group

The EU group that bound several Eurosceptic parties including the Sweden Democrats has been saved by an MEP from a far-right Polish group, just a week after it appeared to have crumbled, according to a UK press report. READ  

Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm
Sweden's Armed Forces are out in force after reports of a foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. Photo: TT

Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm

The world has had its periscope on Sweden since the Swedish military launched an extensive hunt for what is rumoured to be a damaged Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. Here is the timeline of events so far. READ  

Business & Money
Profit leap for Swedbank
A branch of Swedbank in Malmö. Photo. TT

Profit leap for Swedbank

Swedbank has seen its profits rise higher than expected. READ  

New coalition
Sick pay U-turn from Sweden's new coalition
Stefan Löfven has changed his strategy on sick pay. Photo: TT

Sick pay U-turn from Sweden's new coalition

Small businesses won't face rising sick pay costs, following a policy reversal from Sweden's new coalition government. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

992
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN