November 19, 2017

BBC News: How one country persuaded teens to give up alcohol and drugs

In 20 years Reykjavík went from being worst in Europe when it came to youth drinking, smoking and use of drugs to be the best. In this film by Richard Kenny for BBC World Hacks a light is shed on the good results Iceland has gotten in terms of less substance among its youth, in Richard ‘s discussion with Dagur Eggertsson, the mayor of Reykjavik, and Inga Dora Sigfusdottir from Planet Youth.  

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In the interview Dagur pointed out the importance for the city to act based on research:

„First you have to decide to build what you do on evidence and research. Secondly you have to fund it. And get people out there talking to the parents. Talking to the schools, talking to the youth clubs and everyone that must be involved. “

Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, ICSRA research director, talked about the importance of relevant and fresh information on the status which gives local authorities tools in their constant work to keep teens from substance use.

Let ‘s keep in mind, kids don ‘t want to use drugs. They want to be able to lead happy, healthy lives. We measure different aspects of their lives. Their relations to peers and family and substance use and how they feel. The Youth in Iceland survey has been key to lowering teen substance use. We create a report for each community and within two months of the survey, each school has the findings so that they can figure out what we need to do to create the best circumstances for the kids in our community.