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Drug abuse drops to a record low among Icelandic teenagers

By Staff

  • Happier and healthier Substance abuse, both drinking and drug use, is at an all time low among Icelandic teenagers, a new study shows. Photo/Sara

According to a new study the number of teenagers who either drink or have used drugs has dropped to an all-time low. The study, conducted by researchers with Rannsókn og Greining, shows that alcohol consumption among teenagers aged 15-16 years is now the exception, instead of being the norm. Nearly half of teenagers aged 16-20 have never tasted alcohol.

Read more: Study: Icelandic teenagers spend more time with parents, consume less alcohol, drugs

The study revealed that in 2016 only 5% of teenagers aged 15-16 had tasted alcohol in the previous 30 days, compared to 42% in 1998. Smoking had similarly decreased from 23% of 15-16 year olds who smoked daily down to just 3%. More teenagers had tried cannabis than smoked regularly: 7% of 15-16 year olds had tried cannabis.

Icelandic teens are adopting healthier lifestyles
One of the authors of the study told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service that the drop in drinking and smoking among younger teens had clearly had an impact on the number of older teens who either drink or use drugs. Growing numbers of teenagers enter junior college without have drunk alcohol, smoked or used drugs and then keep to that healthy lifestyle throughout their teens.

The drop in smoking is particularly striking, with several schools which are entirely smoking free. The use of cannabis has also dropped after having increased during the first decade of the 21st century. In 2010 the number of teenagers who had tried cannabis was 23%, but only 18% in 2016.

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