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Government Needs Answers for Youth Drug Problems

Government Needs Answers for Youth Drug Problems

Thursday 25th Jan 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Social Welfare

ACT Youth Affairs Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman is urging the Government to outline a plan to deal with the growing problems associated with drug use by young people – particularly in relation to the disruption they cause at school.

“Everyone accepts that the more liberal approach to drugs being advocated by the Minister of Youth Affairs and the Greens will make the problem worse – and yet we are not coping now.

“The Minister’s logic is very clouded. She believes too many students are being suspended for taking drugs, so suggests making it easier for them to get drugs. Then she wants to leave these people in the schools where they will affect the quality of education others receive. It is not the job of the education system to be sorting out people whose lives have become dysfunctional.

“The Minister has acknowledged problems with drugs in school. She is not offering solutions. What does the Government intend to do to provide rehabilitation services for those young people who want to quit the habit – as there are few facilities available?

“The people of New Zealand need to be assured that endorsing drug taking by young people is not simply going to provide a pathway to long term dependency. Most workplaces will not tolerate workers whose performance is impaired by drugs.

“The personal choice to indulge in drugs should not oblige society – through taxpayers’ money – to pick up the pieces in the long term,” Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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