Planet Youth

The Icelandic primary prevention model and implementation in Ireland

DRNS and the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research were delighted to host this event on 25th February at the University of Stirling. The aim was to share learning on the implementation of Planet Youth in Ireland.

In the 1990s, Iceland had very high rates of young people using drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The Youth in Iceland Model (now Planet Youth) was introduced, a community based approach which aims to reduce risk factors and improve protective factors and rates of substance use have subsequently decreased. Planet Youth has since been implemented in more than 30 countries worldwide. The seminar started with an overview from Margrét Lilja Guðmundsdóttir, from Reykjavík University. You can find her presentation here.

The main presentation was given by Emmet Major, who is coordinating the Planet Youth programme in the West of Ireland. He described his experiences of the programme, with implications for Scottish research, policy and practice. He has over twenty years of experience in the health sector, specialising particularly in the area of substance use. He has worked as an addiction counsellor, rehabilitation centre manager and is currently a community worker with the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force. He is responsible for the coordination of the three Planet Youth sites operating in the West of Ireland, covering a population of 450,000 people. His presentation “Planet Youth in the West of Ireland” is available here.