Iceland has been ranked amongst the lowest adolescent consumers of alcohol in Europe, according to studies.
Various studies on alcohol consumption have stated that Iceland has the lowest volume of binge drinkers. Icelandic students were asked by PEDIATRICS on whether they had ever been binge drinking, with only 6 percent claiming yes, compared to 38 percent in Holland, as an example.
PEDIATRICS stated, “Icelandic youth had the lowest rates of binge drinking, whereas youths in The Netherlands, Scotland and Germany had the highest.”
The journal added, “Factors that were associated with binge drinking included peer drinking, sensation seeking and rebelliousness, school performance, age and sibling drinking.”
In addition to the aforementioned, Lead author Dr Reiner Hanewinkel, of the Institute for Therapy and Health Research in Keil, Germany, explained, “The drinking cultures in countries like Scotland, Germany and Holland are the same but in Iceland they are different because people have maybe one or two drinks with a meal. They don’t drink in binges.”
But facts from Iceland state the fact that 42% of 15-year-old adolescents did drink alcohol 15 years ago but today, with strategic intervention, the number is down to 5%. Binge drinking is and has been a problem in Iceland but intervention has proven its value. Below shows the decrease in substance abuse amongst 15-16 year olds from 1998 to 2013:
A conference regarding the methods for the prevention of substance abuse, titled Cities for Youth, will be taking place on 19th – 20th March 2014, at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference is set to display the ‘Icelandic Model’, a method of substance prevention used in Reykjavík for the past 15 years.
The ‘Icelandic Model’ is a theoretically-grounded, evidence-based approach to community adolescent substance use prevention that has grown out of a collaboration between policy makers, behavioural scientists, field-based practitioners, and community residents in Iceland. The intervention focuses on reducing known risk factors for substance use, while strengthening a broad range of parental, school, and community protective factors.
The conference is set to hold practical “hands on” information directly from those who have contributed to and lead the prevention work in Reykjavík, as well as other various keynote lectures from health experts.