Excessive Drinking On The Rise In Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Excessive Drinking On The Rise In Iceland

Published May 14, 2015

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Iceland is one of few OECD countries where alcohol consumption has increased over the past 20 years.

RÚV reports that according to a new study from the OECD, alcohol consumption has decreased in the OECD, with the exception of a few countries, with the largest increases in Iceland, Finland, Israel, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

The OECD offers a number of steps governments can take to reduce alcohol consumption. These include increasing counselling services to people with alcohol problems, making laws on driving while intoxicated stricter, increasing the price of alcohol and making access to it more difficult.

Currently, the wholesale purchase of alcohol in Iceland is only available in government-owned stores. Independence Party MP Vilhjálmur Árnason sought to change that last year, submitting a bill that would permit alcohol to be sold in stores.

Despite Vilhjálmur’s contention that the price of alcohol is so high, young people are forced to use drugs, about two-thirds of the nation were against the idea.

Ultimately, the Welfare Committee majority blocked the bill’s passage.

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