Two disturbing reports have been released by charities in the last week describing alarming instances of under-age alcohol and cannabis consumption in Australia.
The Salvation Army released research on Monday which shows 80 per cent of people believe it is safe to give children sips of alcohol. This, they emphasise, goes against new national guidelines which recommend children under the age of 15 have no alcohol, and encourages older teenagers delay drinking for as long as possible. The Salvation Army highlighted research from the Boston University has found that drinking before the age of 14 significantly increases the risk of alcoholism in later life.
The Ted Noffs Foundation meanwhile has warned of an increasing trend for parents in Sydney suburbs to give their young children cannabis in an attempt to keep them quiet. Ted Noffs member Michael Kirton described the situation. “Our counsellors see [cannabis] being used more and more as a way for families to control the kids and make life easier for the parents,” he said. Melbourne social worker Les Twentyman has described the same problem. “The parents think it’s a quick fix, but it’s the start of a life of long-term misery,” he said.
Writer Tristan Boyd, Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.