Sergeant Cameron Miller in the Tweed Police Station.
Sergeant Cameron Miller in the Tweed Police Station. Blainey Woodham

Giving kids "the other talk" about drugs and alcohol

PARENTS are being urged to discuss the dangers of drugs and alcohol with their kids. The Australian Drug Foundation has coined it giving your kids The Other Talk.

Tweed police are right behind the initiative and Sergeant Cameron Miller said kids were never too young to be educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

"I don't think there's too young or too old, you would be looking in the period prior to high school years," he said.

Young people can access drugs and alcohol anywhere in the state and they know who and where they can get it.

"That's only my personal belief but as I say, when sitting around the home when things come on TV is when it would be a good opportunity to talk about it.

"No age group's too young."

Sgt Miller said drugs were no more of a problem here than they were anywhere else in Australia and when teens did get their hands on drugs it was usually cannabis and alcohol, due to their accessibility at parties and big events.

"The perception may be that drugs and alcohol are more accessible in this area, but this is not the case," he said.

"Young people can access drugs and alcohol anywhere in the state and they know who and where they can get it."

To educate teens about the effects of drugs and alcohol, police have special youth officers at the local area command.

"They go into the schools on a regular basis, both primary and high school to educate on issues such as cyber safety, drugs and alcohol, safe partying, sexual assaults and domestic violence," he said.

"Police also work with young people at the Police Citizens Youth Club on a one-on-one basis."

The Australian Drug Foundation CEO John Rogerson said research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed one in five 16 and 17 year olds drink risky amounts of alcohol at least once a month.

"Drugs are often still a taboo subject within families," he said.

"We want to make it easier for parents to feel comfortable enough to initiate the conversation about alcohol and drugs, and feeling informed is a big part of that."

The shocking research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed 36% of teens between 12-17 drink to get drunk every time they consumed alcohol.



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