We Can Learn About Prevention From Iceland

20 years ago Icelandic teens were among the heaviest-drinking youths in Europe. Today, Iceland has one of the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15 and 16 year olds who had been drunk in the previous month dropped from 42 in 1998 down to 5 percent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 percent to 7 percent. Teens smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 percent to 3 percent. This could serve as a model for other countries. The turnaround of teens in Iceland was radical and evidenced based. Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss the findings and whether they think this model would work in the US.

Discussion Guide:

How do you think Iceland brought down the substance use of teens?

As a teen, did you engage in a wide range of recreational activities?

If not, would you have turned to drugs if there were other means to enjoy yourself?

Can you think of other protective factors against substance use?

Would you recommend changing laws, curfews, parent-child interactions, etc?

Why would the protocol in Iceland not necessarily be effective in the US?

Supplemental Reading:

Emma Young, Iceland Know How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse – But the Rest of the World Isn't Listening, http://digg.com/2017/teen-substance-abuse-mosaic