Stuff.co.nz 27 November 2013
A new approach is needed to deal with the consequences of drug abuse in young people, youth organisations say.
Ben Birks Ang, of addiction centre Odyssey House’s youth programmes Stand-Up and Amplify, says he hears from young people who have been using drugs from as young as eight years.
“We are noticing that there are less people saying they use regularly but that the age at which young people start using is getting progressively younger.
“A lot of our services are set up for older age groups but if we’re getting 8-year-olds and 10-year-olds then we will need a very different service to deal with that.”
The New Zealand Drug Foundation is hosting an International Drug Policy Symposium in Auckland city this week to explore the science around cannabis and health.
HIGH ON STATISTICS
New Zealanders are among the highest cannabis users in the world in the 2013 United Nations World Drug Report.
One in seven New Zealand adults will have used cannabis in the past year, according to the Ministry of Health’s most recent New Zealand Alcohol and Drug Use Survey.
The survey found 46.4 per cent of all adults had used cannabis in their lifetime.