Teenage drink and drugs crisis: Here’s a radical plan for Ireland that can work
A task force in the west of Ireland is using Iceland’s model for reducing alcohol and drug abuse among teenagers
Iceland used to be top of the league that no country wants to win – scoring exceptionally highly on the teenage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Among young people aged 15/16 years, almost 25 per cent were smoking every day, more than 40 per cent had got drunk in the past month and 17 per cent had tried cannabis. That statistical snapshot indicates the depth of the problem the Nordic island had with substance abuse by teenagers 20 years ago.
In 2017, just 2 per cent of that same age group were daily smokers, 5 per cent reported having been drunk in the previous month and 6 per cent had tried cannabis. By any measure, that is a spectacular turnaround.
So how did they do it and would that work in Ireland?