Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, speaking at a conference in Ireland yesterday, shared his thoughts on how drug use among young people can best be combated.
The conference, called European Cities Against Drugs (ECAD), was attended by about 150 politicians, mostly from the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. There, the president was presented with an award for his work with young people, the Irish Times reports.
The president said that fighting drug use among young people was a simple matter, and is best done at a local – not national – level.
“The only way is to create a defence mechanism among the young people themselves, to build up their confidence so that they refuse to be victims,” he said. He explained that during his time as a professor at the University of Iceland, a simple means of fighting drug use was discovered which had a three-fold approach: family time of at least one hour a day, participation in sports, and asking young people to wait until they were 18 before trying alcohol.
“Doing all three factors meant there was less than a 1 per cent chance of becoming a drug addict,” he said.
The president also spoke briefly on the subject of the economic collapse, saying that it was rather a crisis of democracy than a crisis of the financial system, and this outlook has helped Iceland’s recovery.