Mission Australia Youth Survey: Drugs, alcohol main concern for young people


Picture: Stock image.
Picture: Stock image.

DRUG and alcohol use remains the biggest concern for Perth teenagers, according to Mission Australia.

The charity announced the launch of its 16th Annual Youth Survey as part of Youth Week this week.

The survey, open to teenagers from 15 to 19-years-old, asks participants about the issues that matter most to them.

Last year in WA, more than a third of young people taking part in the survey listed drugs and alcohol as the most important issue in Australia today – almost 10 per cent higher than the national average.

Mission Australia regional leader WA Shaun Mays said concern about methamphetamine use in particular among young people was also increasing.

“We work with around 100 young people at any one time through our Drug and Alcohol Youth Service detox program, with one in four currently identifying ice or amphetamines as their primary drug of concern,” he said,

“In 2010, that figure was just one in 10.”

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Teenagers Tamara and Mav, who did not want their surnames published, said it was important that young people took part in the survey to give an accurate picture of the issues they faced.

“(Drugs and alcohol) need to be talked about more,” Tamara said.

“They have a big effect – not just on the person using but their families, friends and all of their relationships.”

Mav said young people needed more support services to deal with addiction.

“It’s harder for young people to get ahead in life when they have a drug issue, they get caught up in the courts and end up not going to school,” he said.

“It’s becoming a big problem, and it’s getting worse.

“There definitely needs to be more support there because young people don’t know where to go or where to turn.”

Mr Mays said the survey was important because it provided a snapshot of youth issues that helped inform Mission Australia’s work as well as government decision-making.

Click here to take part. The survey closes on July 31.