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WVU in the News: W.Va. lawmakers encourage "Icelandic model" study to combat youth addiction

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A program that focuses on strengthening communities to delay the use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol in youth got the support of the House Committee for Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse on Thursday.

In its final meeting of the 2020 legislative session — pending any assignments from Senate bills — the House committee heard a presentation on the Icelandic model for youth substance abuse prevention.

Dr. Alfgeir L. Kristjansson, Ph.D., M.Sc., associate professor at the WV Prevention Research Center, School of Public Health, spoke to the committee.

Kristjansson said the Icelandic model, which seeks to delay the onset of drug use, is being piloted in Fayette and Wyoming counties with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Icelandic model focuses on reducing known risk factors for substance use while strengthening parental, school and communities' impact through local research, the distribution of that research, community-based planning, organization and collaboration.

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