Youth Drug Treatment

If elected in 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will work to provide extra support for families and protect children who are struggling with drug addiction by allowing Magistrates to request drug treatment orders for children under the age of 18.

The Battle Against Drugs

South Australia’s young people are currently being left behind in the battle against ice and drug addiction.

Drug addiction devestates families and robs young people of their future. It also has a negative impact upon our community safety and crime rate.

Despite efforts from the Federal Government, the use of ice and other drugs is strong and the market is growing. 

Shockingly, data from the National Ice Taskforce reveals that the proportion of people aged between 14 and 19 years using ice has increased threefold from 0.4 per cent in 2007 to
1.2 per cent in 2013.

Like a mental health issue, the use of drugs by our young people is something that impacts both themselves and those around them - yet they don’t always have the same treatment options as the adults in our community. Options for drug treatment in South Australia are narrow and services are either very expensive or inadequate. Families often feel helpless at their inability to legally force their children into drug treatment programs.

The current policy settings in South Australia work by penalising those using drugs, but do nothing to stop the spread of addiction and the harm of ice.

We believe in providing a system to help our children and their families fight this addiction earlier, before it becomes a life-long habit. Earlier intervention and assistance may help stop the habit following a young person into adulthood.

We believe that with the assistance of courts and specialised treatment centres, we can have a positive impact on young people struggling with drug addiction.

We are committed to dealing with the emerging threat of substance abuse and saving the lives of South Australian children, even if it means being harder on our young people who are currently caught in the cycle of drug dependance and abuse.

The State Liberal's Plan

If elected in 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will work provide extra support for families and protect children who are struggling with drug addiction by allowing Magistrates to provide for drug treatment orders for children under the age of 18.

To protect our children, we will provide access to drug treatment centres to ensure they are not left behind in their battle with drug addiction.

This is an initiative that will save our children’s lives and help break drug addiction as early as possible, while also providing legal back-up to parents and caregivers who are struggling to find suitable treatment options for their children.

By giving the power to Magistrates to provide drug treatment orders, we will stop the ongoing social effects of drug addiction and alleviate the stress from families who are currently fighting this on their own.

Following discussions with parents, guardians and those involved in drug treatment a lack of consistency of support and treatment
services were identified. This ‘revolving door’ of drug treatment is not a standard we wish to accept and we do not want to see our children returning to drugs and dropping out of treatment programs.

Our Youth Treatment Orders will provide children with a residency at a treatment facility for up to 12 months. Once a young person has been confirmed as suffering from an addiction or being at risk of harm, they will be provided with support from medical practitioners in a supportive and professional environment.

These measures will ensure that those who need drug treatment the most will be able to undertake a drug rehabilitation program.

As outlined in our 2036 manifesto, substance abuse is a major factor contributing to crime, family breakdowns, lost productivity and broken opportunities across our community. We believe government must be committed to delivering the concerted effort needed to tackle the problem of substance abuse.