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Kids and Drugs ....


IamInACT
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When my wife did our LSD , she was astounded by the amount of recognition drug addiction gets. In SA you hear a bit here ans a bit there ... This has put a little doubt in her mind ... what will our Kids get up to one day. We are planning to go to Canberra next year... but I trying to get an understanding of what the situation is like... Are drugs rampant? Are msot teens druggies? Is it a common talking issue? We are then taking our children from one nasty problem to another... touch wood but we have never been a victim of crime... but is drugs then not going to be easier and more accessable and therefore more evil?

I SA Crime(hard crime) is spoken about as the eveil destroy the moral frabic of our society .... and it appears to be drugs in Australia.... unless the bikies don't get you first?

Please let me know what it is like on the ground ...

Edited by WannabeACT
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Hi Wannabe

We visited Aus in 2005 and often noticed used needles in the public bathrooms. My friends who live there say there is definately a huge problem with teenagers/adults using drugs. There are safe houses in certain areas where drug addicts can go and use drugs and where they are immune from the law. Not sure if I agree with this approach!

Derek

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I am not sure about the drugs, I think the underage and the binge drinking is the biggest saddest problem I see. The youth cant just seem to have a drink or two, they drink until they are oblivious of it all and proud of it too. Very sad and totally not what I expected to see.

Jill

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yeah, some areas of Tasmania are the same, noticably the lower income group suburbs.

the thing i feel is these kids have had it too easy...no one HAS to work, the parents feel they cant punish the kids, legally its a bit like USA here with that, so not much discipline and they got money for free from the government, so what do you do?

I was amazed at the range and usage of alcopops when we came here... kids drink it like its cordial....and yeah, almost every public toilet I come across has a disposal box for used needles....its, I think, this countries major problem.

The way i see it, you really need to instil good and strong moral values when they are young to overcome the hurdle of no discipline later on....BUT the problems are handled well socially here, and many of the young twenties I meet are recovered addicts who are now handling life well.

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I think the difference might be that drugs and the associated problems are made more obvious here? There is a concerted effort and campaign by government to openly talk about and educate around drug use. I have two teenage boys and neither of them has shown any inkling of getting involved in drugs and certainly in my immediate circle, I'm not aware of any users. I'm sure there are plenty of them out there, but it doesn't strike me that it's a bigger problem than I would expect it to be anywhere else in the world.

More specifically, on the point of swapping the devil you know for one that you don't, I think that we should all recognise that crime is something that happens to you . You don't willingly participate, and as parents, we have absolutely no influence or control over whether or not our children are victims. I believe that drugs are a different matter - a person must choose to use them, of their own free will. As parents, although we certainly can't completely prevent it, we at least have a strong influence over our kids and can assist them with their choices. We won't always get it right (I'm living proof of that!!! My parents tried their best to teach me the evils of the world, but I still tried out a few things for myself, just to make sure B) ) but we can educate them and talk to them about the impact of their decisions. Violent crime doesn't afford us such luxuries. I don't think the two problems can be compared, as a result of this very important difference.

Cheers

Ajay

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I actually asked my son about drugs at his school just the other day. We live in a smaller town with perhaps a slighly more conservative community, and he says he has never seen or heard any drug action at the school he is at and this is a State School. I know of people who live in cities who have said there is drug use in the schools, discarded needles etc.

As in South Africa I think where you live makes a big difference.

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I actually asked my son about drugs at his school just the other day.

I’m sorry to say, but your kids might not be telling the truth. All parents think their children are totally honest with them. My mom asked me the same question when I was at school, and I told her I knew nothing. I knew a lot more than she thought. Why would I tell her everything that goes on around me at school? She’d be worried sick and never let me go anywhere.

There is of course the possibility that your child is being honest, and has really not been exposed to anything, but I’m afraid to say, it’s unlikely in these times.

Kids are smarter than you think. It’s not bad parenting, it’s just teens being teens.

My folks still to this day don’t know half the stuff we got up to. We laugh about a lot of it now, but they still don’t know half of it. I also came from a sleepy dorp, first went to a 1000 kid government school and then to a 300 kid private school. Both had exposure to all sorts of things that parents do not think their kids get up to – and this was over 12 years ago. Whether you took-part was dependant on your morals, your upbringing, your own personal choices, peer pressure, and a combination of all of the above. Some did, some didn’t. Some took it too far, some just experimented.

Sadly, you can’t wrap your kids in cotton wool. All you can do is raise them with good morals, teach them to do the right thing and send them out there and hope they make the right choices. Sometimes, experiencing life from all angles can be a good thing.

I don’t think Australia has that much more drug exposure than South Africa. I think that South Africa is too worried about other problems to concentrate much on drugs. In Australia, it’s talked about openly and you tend to hear more about it.

I say, drugs are just as much a problem in Australia as they are anywhere else in the world. You only don’t hear about them too much in middle class suburbs in South Africa because nobody talks about them. Trust me, they’re there.

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I’m sorry to say, but your kids might not be telling the truth. All parents think their children are totally honest with them. My mom asked me the same question when I was at school, and I told her I knew nothing. I knew a lot more than she thought. Why would I tell her everything that goes on around me at school? She’d be worried sick and never let me go anywhere.

Ha, ha, I was expecting a comment like that.

I have two teenage sons, and if I asked my younger one, I would take what he said with a serious pinch of salt. I think he is going to be my child that tries everything. My elder so does tell me things. Whether or not drugs are an issue at his school he would not bother to conceal so I am pretty sure I can believe what he said. And he has told me other things that are the kind of things kids don't tell their parents.

He has learned in life the hard way what drugs and alcohol abuse can do, watching my brother die as a result of this kind of abuse.

I seriously doubt he will ever even smoke a cigarette - part of what put my brother into an early grave...

He does drink, which he has been open about.

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Ha, ha, I was expecting a comment like that.

I have two teenage sons, and if I asked my younger one, I would take what he said with a serious pinch of salt. I think he is going to be my child that tries everything. My elder so does tell me things. Whether or not drugs are an issue at his school he would not bother to conceal so I am pretty sure I can believe what he said. And he has told me other things that are the kind of things kids don't tell their parents.

He has learned in life the hard way what drugs and alcohol abuse can do, watching my brother die as a result of this kind of abuse.

I seriously doubt he will ever even smoke a cigarette - part of what put my brother into an early grave...

He does drink, which he has been open about.

That's fair enough, sounds like you have a mature kid on your hands there. I still say there is always an un-known quantity when it comes to what kids do and don't tell their parents, and what they do and don't get up to.

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My 2c worth.....drugs are a growing problem pretty much everywhere in the world including in SA and I am not convinced that the problem is necessarily any worse in Aus than in other places. Perhaps the only difference is the level of open exposure and publicity the issue gets here. I'm sure there are plenty of needles lying around in public toilets and other public places in cities like Jo'burg and Cpt - but how often does the average Joe citizen in SA dare go to a public toilet in central Jo'burg or Cpt these days? Just because you can't see a problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist...

As with all places you have your bad elements, a city of angels just doesn't exist anywhere; but by that same token there are many young Ausies who have their heads on straight and are making a success of their lives.

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I'm sure there are plenty of needles lying around in public toilets and other public places in cities like Jo'burg and Cpt - but how often does the average Joe citizen in SA dare go to a public toilet in central Jo'burg or Cpt these days? Just because you can't see a problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist...

100% Agree. You said exactly what I was trying to say but couldn't.

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Thanks all for the feedback ... more would be really appreciated!!!

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There's much more publicity here on things we didn't normally see as an everyday threat in SA, like drugs, binge drinking, herpes, lung cancer caused by smoking etc. To that effect, we as parents get so scared thinking that we might have put our kids in a more dangerous environment than where they came from. But then you have to think back to what things were like when you were still living in SA, remembering all the MANY publicity surrounding AIDS, which we NEVER see here. I remember being very affraid that my kids might get AIDS by playing contact sports and also remember that 2 children in my son's primary school used needles (the kind you would use on fabrics) to stab kids in the class as a choke - he was stabbed twice!

It doesn't make the threats we face here (or rather that our kids are exposed to) any easier and keeping the communication channels WIDE open and giving them all the facts with regard to any threat they might face, is all we as parents can do to help our kids choose the right path on their life journey.

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The truth is - YES - there are drug issues here in the ACT.

About two weeks ago my kids state high school was swarming with police. They were after a chap who was selling at school.

Most toilets seem to have a dispenser for needles - to stop the spread of Aids amongst users. I have been told that some public toilets have ultra violet lights installed as this makes it hard for junkies to find their veins.

I can understand how this worries you, however I believe that with it being so open here, and people talking about it openly - as well as you bringing your kids up doing what is morally right - it is much better then sweeping the issue under the carpet. Drugs are a problem the world over - there is no getting away from it. My old hometown of Kloof was a drug haven - you name it you could get it !!

Seems to me that the Australians like to be very upfront with everything - some of the adverts for skin cancer, or smoking etc are rather graphic - enough to put me off sunbathing and smoking - So at least they try to educate younger people of the dangers.

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Seems to me that the Australians like to be very upfront with everything - some of the adverts for skin cancer, or smoking etc are rather graphic - enough to put me off sunbathing and smoking - So at least they try to educate younger people of the dangers.

You are right about the adverts - I have sat and wondered though, if it impacts on these youngsters at all. All the adverts they have about car accidents when someone tells their story, I end up with tears in my eyes half the time, but I don't think most kids or teenagers or even twentysomethings 'get' them. Even the ad's about drugs, do they even take any notice? Doubt it.

Lyn, I think you have hit the nail on the head. You have to bring your children up, as best you can, with morals and understanding of the consequences of doing things, and then all you can do is let them make their own decisions in life. And hope the grounding they have been given is enough for them to make sensible decisons...

Hard, isn't it.

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Im not sure if they "get it" and how they will handle peer pressure if ever presented with it (how I pray they are never in that situation) but Eva we can only talk and talk. I try not to preach too much - they tend to switch off when mother goes again !!!

I actually knew nothing about the drug selling at school - the kids told me - the same I guess as your son told you about the drinking. Lets hope they can continue to keep the communication lines open and to share their life experiences with us.

I remember just recently there was an ad on the box - a lady who talks about smoking and lung cancer - and the next moment - writing comes up to tell you she passed. Shocking.

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My old hometown of Kloof was a drug haven - you name it you could get it !!

Eish ... now that I cannot believe ... I have family in Kloof and it appears to be such an upmarket area .... you would never guess ...drugs. Tell me more...

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Drugs are just as bad in South Africa. Crime is just bigger news. :blink:

Ditto!

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Eish ... now that I cannot believe ... I have family in Kloof and it appears to be such an upmarket area .... you would never guess ...drugs. Tell me more...

You’d be surprised I reckon. Drugs aren’t limited to crack-houses and slums, they’re everywhere. Especially in upmarket suburbs. Party drugs do the rounds every weekend in just about every nightspot in just about every town and city. I’m not saying everyone’s on it, but I am saying that a lot more people than you think use them. If you went into a random nightspot anywhere in Durban (even in a little dorpie) and randomly tested everyone in a nightclub, you’d be very surprised at how many were positive.

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The more influential the suburb - the harder more expensive the drug sold !! These kids are not interested in a bit of grass !! Umhlanga / Durban North is another place full of it.

You can buy the stuff anywhere. Outside the mall, the petrol attendant, under the railway bridges, outside school, the garden service.

Maybe your family in Kloof are not aware of what is going on - they may not be aware of the drug trade in the area but once again it will depend on the upbringing of the kids. Im not saying that all kids from the Outer West are high but that if they are interested in obtaining any drug it will just be a matter of hours before they have it.

As HansaPlease says - go into any nightclub - even the ones for under 18's and the goings on will shock you. Drugs is such a huge problem that some parents get their kids tested every few weeks.

Dont want to alarm you but its a BIG problem.

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Drugs is such a huge problem that some parents get their kids tested every few weeks.

Dont want to alarm you but its a BIG problem.

..... In Australia?

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Dont know about Aus, that was in SA.

But I woudnt be surprised if that happens here too. Just makes them think twice.

How old are your kids ?? I can see this is causing you to stress. I wish I could tell you there are no drugs in Australia.

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How old are your kids ?? I can see this is causing you to stress. I wish I could tell you there are no drugs in Australia.

Thy both on under 4, so plenty of time to train them good., It is my better half that is paranoid about needle and germs and AIDS, so the needle bins in the Toilet the UV lights ...just really put her off....

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Thy both on under 4, so plenty of time to train them good., It is my better half that is paranoid about needle and germs and AIDS, so the needle bins in the Toilet the UV lights ...just really put her off....

Funny, but I have exactly the OPPOSITE reaction - I'd rather the needles go in the bins provided than be left lying on the floor or washbasin for innocent little kids to see or touch! At least the government is facing reality and being proactive.

My teen son reckons his (State) school here in Sydney is much "cleaner" drugs wise than the last 2 (Private) schools he attended in South Africa and Botswana.

We can't shield our children against the big bad world forever (as much as we would love to!) and drugs & alcohol are a fact of life. All we can do is educate them at home from a young age, keep the communication channels open and hope for the best!

And most important of all - LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

Edited by zorba
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