Ice scourge wreaks havoc among fam­i­lies

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

SHOCK­ING fig­ures re­leased by Child Safety have re­vealed the hor­rific na­ture of fam­ily drug abuse in North Queens­land.

The quar­terly fig­ures show in the 12 months lead­ing up to March 2017, 65 chil­dren were placed un­der pro­tec­tion orders as a re­sult of par­ents us­ing metham­phetamines.

The fig­ures have prompted the State Gov­ern­ment to hire a spe­cial­ist ice ad­viser to pro­vide spe­cific ex­pert sup­port and ad­vice to child safety work­ers.

Min­is­ter for Child Safety Shan­non Fen­ti­man said the num­bers were up on last year, show­ing how dev­as­tat­ing an ef­fect ice was hav­ing on Queens­land com­mu­ni­ties.

“The data shows that the ma­jor­ity of chil­dren where parental ice use was recorded the par­ent had only re­cently started abus­ing the drug,” she said. “This shows just how dev­as­tat­ing this drug is and that is why we are do­ing so much to tar­get the use of this par­tic­u­lar drug so we can tackle the harm it is caus­ing head- on.”

Ms Fen­ti­man said the in­tro­duc­tion of manda­tory drug test­ing for par­ents sus­pected of drug use and en­ter­ing par­ent­ing agree­ments had given Child Safety of­fi­cers an­other tool to help keep chil­dren safe.

“Ice use con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem and more par­ents are be­ing tested so we can iden­tify those fam­i­lies where ice is caus­ing harm,” she said.

“We make no apol­ogy for be­ing tough on par­ents who do the wrong thing, and the lat­est data shows just how quickly ice use can cause ter­ri­ble dam­age to chil­dren and fam­i­lies.”

CHRIS McMA­HON

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