The Icelandic Model: Is the hype justified? Position paper of the European Society for Prevention Research on the Icelandic model

Ina M. Koning, C. De Kock, P. van der Kreeft, Andrew Percy, Zila M. Sanchez, G. Burkhart

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Abstract

Prevention workers and policymakers are eager to get started with and purchase the Icelandic model, a purportedly new way to prevent alcohol and drug use among young people. Considerable salesmanship has accompanied this model, and considering this hype, the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) is concerned with its broad (commercial) dissemination, especially as evidence concerning the implemented measures is limited. We do understand the appeal of this environmental approach to a broad range of decision-makers and share the interest in this model (a combination of normative and incentive prevention components) because of its supposed relation to the drastic decline of substance use among Icelandic youth in recent years.

Yet, we argue that one cannot readily adopt this intervention and implant it in countries that do not have Iceland’s particular and specific characteristics. Even if it seems an attractive intervention, for the intervention to succeed, as well as for
the efficient use of public funds and adherence to ethical considerations, there
are a number of important issues to be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020

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