The aim of this dissertation is to study how discourses and problem representations have made some drugs and some forms of drug use into “ethnic problems” in Sweden and in Scandinavia. The primary example of such a process discussed in the dissertation concerns the use of the psychoactive and criminalized plant khat. The activity of associating a drug with ethnic minorities is defined in the dissertation as “making drugs ethnic”. By making drugs ethnic, Scandinavian welfare state institutions treat certain psychoactive substances and their users as primarily ethnic rather than as social or medical problems. Processes of making drugs ethnic thus have implications for social work practice, since understandings and proposed solutions to “drug abuse among immigrants” have been based largely on notions of ethnic or cultural difference. It has frequently been proposed that problematic khat use can be solved by increased use of “cultural competence” within social work and drug treatment institutions. This development is discussed in the dissertation as an over-emphasis of ethnicity and culture, and notions underlying this development are problematized.