Comment: Fiona Nash pleads with parents

I write to urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers of the drug ice.

 

I've travelled the length and breadth of Australia holding community consultations on this drug, hearing from mums and dads, health care workers, police, and the people caught in the clutches of this drug. 

 

Recently, the Prime Minister and I received independent research on the effectiveness of the Federal Coalition Government's TV and social media advertising campaign and it reinforced something very important: parents are a huge influence on children's attitudes to drugs such as ice.

 

The research, commissioned by the Department of Health, surveyed more than 3805 people - 2126 youths and 1679 parents. It reported 61 per cent of youth said discussions with parents were a 'big influence' on their thinking about drugs.

 

I've two sons myself and I know that as parents, we can't control everything. But we do get the chance to have important conversations with our children; to help convince them never to try this addictive drug, which literally breaks down neural pathways in the brain. We are still by far the biggest influence in our children's lives.

 

The research shows the ice ads have been extremely effective - 51 per cent of "at risk" youth who saw the ads now saying they'll avoid ice - but as I've always said, government can't do this on its own.

 

We've launched the second round of our advertising campaign, but we need parents to get involved too. The simple act of talking with your child and educating them about the dangers of a drug which often contains ingredients including acetone as you'd find in nail polish, lithium as you'd find in batteries, and ammonia, could one day help them say no.



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