Teenagers so young as 14 are using heroin and amphetamines, and this nuber is increasing rapidly, while the number of injecting drug users double each year. What exactly is being done? Can more be done to help? At the moment there is a Queensland detoxification program, which is a two and a half year program that has helped 100 clients in the past year. They only have five beds which is nowhere near enough for all the teenagers who require help.
They began in March last year with $1.4 million of government funds. This figure should be largely increased. There should be more funding going towards helping drug addicted teenagers, because the more money the better the chance to save them. More beds could be bought, so that they could stay in a safe environment until they are confident about leaving and staying off drugs.
Another factor is the availibility of drugs.
Factors influencing availability include the price or responsesnessecary to obtain the drug, the potency of the drug the ease of access to the drug and the consequences of drug use. Study found that Unemployment resulted in increased drug use, and that drugs also caused unemployment. If the government was to put more kids to work than it would help decrease the amount of teenage drug users.
The increasing rate of teenage drug users may soon lead to dangerous situations, with many teenagers willing to do anything to get money to buy drugs or amphetamines. Stealing is the most common way of picking up a quick buck, but if they get caught they could end up in jail or even land a criminal record. Many teenagers will find it really difficult to apply for a job or other things such as a loan. Many drug users could go to the extreme of killing someone else just to get their hands on some drugs. Decreasing the drug problem would be a great deal of hard work, but if the government chips in a little more, things would seem a little easier. Decreasing the drug problem would then also decrease crime.
Death is also a major issue. In the greater Brisbane area in 1997, ambulance officers attended 111 overdoses and this has increased to 488 cases in 1999. There is also a big concern between injecting drug use and prostitution because it has raised particular concerns given the prevalence of HIV amoung populations of drug injectors. If nothing further than what is beingdone now to help, many more teenagers could lose their lives.There is an estimated number of 300 homeless people in the valley believed to be injecting drugs.There should be more help provided for them which again needs more funding. Mr Aldred Queensland?s Alcohole and Drug Foundation Chief Executive said there were about 450 rehabilitation beds, in Queensland with long waiting lists.
Teenagers are destroying their future with drugs, but they are not always to blame. Ricki Lake featured a homeless boy who, because of family abuse and rape, had to resort to prostitution for money. He then started taking dugs to ?zone out? from the harsh reality. Many more cases just like this occur frequently, the government needs to take immediate action because the future for many more teenagers could be in jepardy.
If lives are wanting to be saved or to keep people alive than the detoxification and other treatment services must be fully funded by the government. The government has to use the money for what is most important, and that is saving the lives of others who are in trouble, or can?t help themselves.