How An American Helped Iceland Fix Its Teen Substance Abuse Problem

March 09, 2017 | WBUR

Twenty years ago teens in Iceland were among the heaviest substance abusers in Europe — with more than 40 percent of 15- and 16-year-olds reporting being drunk in a given month.

Fast forward to 2017, and the country boasts the fewest drinking, smoking and drug-taking youth on the continent. The turnaround is credited, partly, to an American psychologist and drug researcher who was convinced that replacing artificial highs with natural highs — before addiction began — could change a society.

Harvey Milkman joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss what happened in Iceland, and whether it can be replicated elsewhere. Milkman is a visiting professor at the University of Reykjavik, and a professor of psychology at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Read or listen to the conversation.