Addiction - An artificially induced drive (html)
By Nils Bejerot, M.D. "When I first introduced my theory on addiction as an artificially induced drive before an international audience in...

The six day war in Stockholm (html)
The use of gas in the Swedish bank drama last August was widely criticised. Here a consultant psychiatrist to the police, who was in the bank throughout the affair, gives his explanation of the strategy adopted.

About Nils Bejerot

Nils Bejerot was born on 21 September 1921 in Stockholm. Having acquired his higher school certificate at an evening school, he started his medical studies at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. His involvement in political activities lead to many interruptions in his studies. His deep interest in social and cultural issues lead him to write the book Barn Serier Samhälle ("Children Comics Society"; Swedish), published in 1954.

In 1954, while serving as deputy social medical officer at the Child and Youth Welfare Board of the City of Stockholm, Bejerot diagnosed the first case of juvenile intravenous drug abuse ever seen by any public authority in Europe. In spite of his alarming report to the Board, the incident did not lead to any official intervention. Bejerot started working as social medical officer in Stockholm 1962. He was consulting psychiatrist to the Stockholm Police Department from 1958 and consulting physician to the Stockholm Remand Prison from 1965. Later the became Research Fellow in drug dependence at the Swedish National Medical Research Council, and then Reader in Social Medicine at the Karolinska Institute.

When the Swedish "legal prescription experiment" was initiated in the Spring of 1965, Bejerot started the "Injection Mark Study" at the Remand Prison to monitor the spread of intravenous drug abuse in Stockholm.

He was able to show that the experiment (1965 - 1967) lead to a rapid increase in the level of drug abuse at large and that the hopes of the proponents of the experiment that it would stop both the spread of drug abuse and the drug-related delinquency of the patients in the project had failed. When the level of drug abuse dropped considerably during the nation-wide "Police Offensive" (which started 1969), Bejerot was in the unique situation
of being able to make direct comparisons of the development of a drug abuse epidemic during varying control regimens. He presented his results in 1974 in the dissertation Drug Abuse and Drug Policy (English translation 1975).

He was made Associate Professor in 1974 and was given the title of Professor in 1979. Bejerot was a leading critic of the Swedish drug control system, using epidemiological principles to argue for comprehensive measures to prevent, detect and stop drug abuse. He was one of the first to warn that the modern drug epidemics could become serious threats to public health. His research covered such wide areas as the epidemiology of drug abuse, the dynamics of drug dependence and the anomalies of public welfare policy. In the early 1980s, he became one of the "Top 10 opinion moulders" in Sweden. He wrote several books on drug control. His bibliography, published in 1986, contains over 600 works.

Nils Bejerot died on 29 November 1988 after a long illness. The memorial book Nils Bejerot – forskaren, folkupplysaren, pionjären i kampen mot narkotika ("Nils Bejerot - The Scientist, the Popular Educator and Pioneer in the Struggle Against Drugs"; Swedish) was published in 1993 by The Nils Bejerot Memorial Fund.

Jonas Hartelius

© 2002 Nils Bejerots Minnesfond