It’s time for the police and community and health departments to have more powers to detain addicted minors so they can be forcibly rehabilitated. This is the call of a mum of a teen in really, really deep trouble.
The 39-year-old mum has shared her distressing story with the Geelong Advertiser – and it’s a grim and increasingly common one.
The mum, who the story called “Janet” (not her real name), talks about how her well-raised and much-loved daughter had a promising sporting future before she first tasted drugs at age 13.
The girl is now effectively homeless, addicted to hard drugs (including ice and heroin) and has nearly died on a number of occasions through drug and alcohol overdose and misadventure.
Janet believes her young daughter’s only hope of survival is to be placed in compulsory rehabilitation and she wants “the system” to lock up her daughter, for her own sake.
Her dream is to have the legislation changed so that kids like her daughter, who the story called “Danielle”, can be detained against their will into a long-term rehabilitation centre complete with psychologists, doctors, drug and alcohol specialists and animals to assist with therapy.
In Janet’s view, the system is broken, unable to adequately respond to the new wave of youth crime.
“(Danielle) hasn’t been educated since she was 13,” Janet said.
“It’s not just about the drugs it’s the cognitive side of things, it’s reprogramming, rewiring that brain.”
“Things aren’t going to change until the legislation changes, at the moment it is relying on a 15-year-old to make better choices for herself.”
Janet remains hopeful that her daughter will pull through all this. “If she did come out of this she would be the most amazing mentor and change so many people’s lives... but she is going to have a really long road to recovery if she does make it.”
There are several websites and helplines for families and young people affected by drugs. This is a good place to start.