Ice addiction

It’s every parent’s nightmare: discovering your child is addicted to a deadly drug.
But what makes this situation even worse in SA is that successfully securing support to help a young person to get clean appears to be dependent on where they live, how long they can wait or how much money their family has.
Ice is a growing problem in this State.
Its use has tripled in the past five years alone.
It’s extremely addictive, it’s relatively cheap and it’s readily available – all of which make it more attractive to young people, with men aged 18 to 24 the most likely to take the drug.
It is an insidious drug that can make addicts extremely aggressive and violent.
Parents do feel powerless to help their ice affected children.
There are limited public treatment options, especially in regional areas, and there are usually lengthy waiting lists for rehabilitation programs, while privately-run services can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Few, if any, residential detox centres will take on children.
Having a court order a young addict into a new residential facility for minors then sounds like an attractive idea.
But it is a big step to lock someone away for compulsory treatment – especially when the effectiveness and success rate of current treatment methods is unclear.
The concept may have merit in severe cases where young addicts present a serious risk of harm to themselves and those around them, particularly other children in the family home.
Perhaps it could be just one tool in a suite of options for treatment as part of an overhauled approach to tackling the issue of drug addiction across SA.
However, in order for this proposal to be progressed, a lot more work needs to be done to determine the most effective way to get people off this drug and keep them clean for good.
Who would pay for the treatment, who would run it and where would treatment centres be developed?
Any mandatory treatment program must also be supported with long-term assistance to help the affected young person settle back into society.