A landmark report has been released today by the Australia Crime Commission highlighting the scale of Australia’s ice epidemic. Through a global rise in crime networks, the prevalence and availability of methylamphetamine is growing and today, ‘of all illicit drugs, the ACC assesses that methylamphetamine, and in particular crystal methylamphetamine, poses the highest risk to the Australian community’.
Even more troubling this new report highlights a statistic from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey that revealed 7% of the Australian population aged 14 years or older reported using amphetamine or methylamphetamine at least once in their lifetime. This drug is in our children’s environments, in our communities, and as parents, carers, teachers and guardians we need to take note.
Life Education Australia CEO, David Ballhausen, has raised concerns that the availability of this drug in communities, especially rural and disadvantaged, can severely damage the lives of young Australian children. He says, ‘this alarming report confirms what children and young people have been telling us… this drug is in their face… it's easily sourced and it’s really dangerous’.
At Life Education we believe that education can play a vital role in helping to prevent the use and subsequent harms associated with illicit drug use. This is what we do – reaching 640,000 children every year, teaching them about the dangers associated with drug use, but more importantly developing in them the skills and confidence to make considered decisions when faced with drugs in the future.
Unfortunately we cannot do this alone. This issue is crying out for national leadership.
In mid-December the Australian Government announced that it would be examining this issue as a priority. We keenly await the outcome of the work of the its newly shaped advisory council on drugs and would welcome the opportunity to consult and work with the council.
A solution to this issue has to be found fast. We, at Life Education are willing to get involved and support others to fight this on-going threat.
For interviews and more information please contact David Ballhausen, Life Education Australia CEO.