From Iceland — Addiction Centre Director Resigns Amidst Revelations From Former Sex Worker

Addiction Centre Director Resigns Amidst Revelations From Former Sex Worker

Published January 26, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The now-former director of the National Center of Addiction Medicine (SÁÁ), Einar Hermannsson, resigned from his position last Monday, telling reporters that he had responded to an ad he saw and bought the services of a sex worker.

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However, Stundin was reached out to by the sex worker in question, who said that this was not the case. Sharing screenshots of her message history with Einar, she stated that she did not advertise being a sex worker, but had engaged in the practice through a dating site that anonymises users. Einar apparently learned of her through word of mouth, and contacted her through a page she created on Facebook.

Most damning of all is that the woman in question told reporters she had started sex work specifically to fund her drug addiction at the time, and would later become a client of SÁÁ. When she raised the issue with leadership at SÁÁ, where Einar was at the time a member of the board, no action was taken.

Stundin reports further that the Directorate of Health was made aware of the matter as well, in 2020. The Directorate, in response to questions from Vísir, said that they had no prior knowledge of this case, and were not contacted about it, neither formally nor informally.

The Root – Association on Women, Alcohol and Addiction released a statement on the matter yesterday, in which they condemned Einar’s behaviour.

“Einar’s violation against the woman is a gross abuse of power from the director of a social organisation that the government has trusted for about 40 years to attend to the bulk of health care services for people with addictions,” the statement reads in part. “In this group are many of the country’s marginalised people, and it is a case of immorality that has certainly affected Einar’s work as chairman, despite his statement to the contrary. In few jobs do ethics have more value than in jobs for people with substance abuse problems and marginalised people.”

For their part, the board of SÁÁ has condemned Einar’s behaviour, and said that they will be holding elections for a new director this Friday.

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