Iceland's Slow Burn Against Teen Substance Use

For the past 2 decades, Iceland has been tackling its teen drinking culture, not with threatening lectures or health warnings, but by giving youth something else to do and keeping a close eye on them.

“Parent Patrols” roam the streets at night and local municipalities have invested in sports halls, music schools and youth centers.

The influence of the strategy has spread beyond Iceland, to 100 communities across 23 countries including Finland and Chile.

The results are promising: in 1999 around half of Icelandic teens drank and has tried smoking; the country now has the lowest drinking and smoking rates in Europe.


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