Planet Youth Guidance Program

Implementing Organization
Planet Youth has ongoing operations in five continents, in 17 countries of the world and hundreds of municipalities and organizations worldwide.

Iceland went from being among the highest in adolescent substance use in Europe in 1998 to being among the lowest only 15 years later, in 2013. 
Planet Youth Guidance Program was developed from the Icelandic Prevention Model – a theory-based approach with demonstrated effectiveness in reducing substance use in Iceland for over 20 years. The Planet Youth Guidance Program is designed to strengthen protective factors, mitigate risk factors, and build healthy community environments for positive youth development by focusing on key domains in the local school-community: Family, peer group, leisure (out-of-school) time, and school. 
The Planet Youth Guidance Program is a data driven population-wide primary prevention process designed to have a long-term impact in communities on reducing youth substance use by creating a healthy environment amongst youth. Planet Youth treats society as “the patient“ and believes that building a community environment that delays the onset of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for as long as possible is an effective approach to reducing the long-term health problems related to youth substance use.  
For quotes use the section below "Point of Contact" 


Planet Youth is based on the Icelandic Prevention Model which has been implemented with great success for over 20 years. Iceland went from being among the highest in adolescent substance use in Europe in 1998 to being among the lowest only 15 years later, in 2013. 
Power point link: Trend in substance use in Iceland 
Video link: General introduction to Planet Youth 
Power point introduction to Planet Youth 
Scientific article link:  The ten steps.
Implementing the Icelandic Model for Preventing Adolescent Substance Use  
Scientific article link:  The five main principles. 
Development and Guiding Principles of the Icelandic Model for Preventing Adolescent Substance Use. 
Planet Youth  

Accomplishments to Date

The Planet Youth Guidance Program has been implemented for several years already. Through the program Planet Youth staff has trained hundreds of practitioners/collaborators in 17 countries. Through the Train the trainer program, thousands more practitioners have received training in the methodology in the collaborating countries.  
Planet Youth has shared knowledge through conferences with up to two thousand on-site participants and up to 100.000 online participants worldwide.  
Planet Youth was awarded the "Local Drug Demand Reduction Initiative" by ISSUP at the CND conference in Vienna / UNODC in 2019.  
Planet Youth has been invited to introduce the methodology in international conferences worldwide by invitation of governments, cities, institutions, Ngo´s and more for the past years. See: In The Media

Project Activities

The Planet Youth Guidance Program is a collaboration between governments/local municipalities and Planet Youth over a period of up to five years. 
Planet Youth is an evidence based, data driven primary prevention methodology, culturally adapted to various countries and local environments in the world, according to the ten core steps of the Icelandic Prevention Model. (see PPT slides in Background section of this form) 
The ten core steps of the Planet Youth Guidance Program. Scientific article link: 
Implementing the Icelandic Model for Preventing Adolescent Substance Use  

Step one:       Local coalition identification, development and capacity building. 
Step two:       Funding identification, development and capacity building. 
Step three:    Pre-data collection planning and community engagement. 
Step four:      Data collection processing and data driven diagnostics. 
Step five:       Enhancing community participation and engagement. 
Step six:         Dissemination of findings. 
Step seven:   Community goalsetting and organized responses to findings. 
Step eight:    Policy and practice alignment. 
Step nine:      Adolescent immersion in primary prevention, environments and activities. 
Step ten:       Reflect on steps 1-9 and repeat. 
The complete Planet Youth Program encompasses the following modules/activities:  

  1. Prevention Capacity Assessment: A tool that supports a baseline understanding and monitoring of the prevention capacity in a community, strengths and weaknesses. 
  2. Community Implementation Guide: A detailed manual to every step of the Planet Youth guidance program. 
  3. Planet Youth Ambassador Program: A network of trained persons supporting local Planet Youth work around the world. 
  4. Process Follow-Up Platform: An online support system that assists Planet Youth partners to evaluate individual local processes. 
  5. Planet Youth Community: A Facebook platform where Planet Youth partners around the world exchange ideas, initiatives and experiences. 
  6. Planet Youth toolbox of workshops, initiatives, campaigns and programs: An extensive collection of prevention activities from Planet Youth partners around the world for the past years. 
  7. Planet Youth Academy, E-learning platform, in 6 modules: Introduction to Planet Youth / Coalition Building / Pre-data collection training / Post-survey training / Dissemination of findings / Action planning / Goal setting.

Planet Youth systematically trains/introduces partners in the use of each of the modules throughout the period of the collaboration.

Global Level Outcomes

The desired outcome of Planet Youth is to create sustainability in substance use prevention through data driven actions, social change, supporting healthy youth development, and to empower communities and countries to create a drug free environment for children and adolescents around the world.

National Level Outcomes

On a national level Planet Youth has already proven that using the Planet Youth Guidance Program changes the way prevention work is implemented and strengthens local collaboration between practitioners and policy makers. Several Process Evaluations prove this as well as Outcome evaluations already show positive results.

Planet Youth is a Registered Trade Mark in countries in five continents. 


Nicolas Barreiro, nicolas [at] planetyouth [dot] org (nicolas[at]planetyouth[dot]org),

Current State Participants
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States
South Africa