ICE: 12 year olds using meth on the Fraser Coast

CHILDREN as young as 12 years old are reported to be using ice on the Fraser Coast.

Clinical director of Alcohol Other Drug Services for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Associate Professor Kees Nydam said people were seeking help for ice use from all types of demographics, including pre-teens.

"I've had people coming in and telling me that they're using ice from the age of 12 or the age of 16," Assoc Prof Nydam said.

"Probably with a 12-year-old, it's usually an older boyfriend that gives it to them."

He said "inquisitive" people with lots of money were trying it, as well as low socio-economic status people who use the drug to escape from the reality.

"Proportionally, there is a tendency for people at the lower socio-economic end to be slightly higher represented, but that does not mean that a 21-year-old from a high socio-economic group that happens to go down to Brisbane to do a law degree at UQ mightn't say 'hang on I might try this'; it's across the board."

He said in most cases the people who use ice are also abusing other substances.

"They may be using meth or meth-like substances, but are also using a whole lot of other recreational drugs; illicitly obtained prescription medications," he said.

In order to break the cycle, Assoc Prof Nydam said it was important to look at substance abuse as a whole, not just one drug in isolation.

"Take a look at why are kids using drugs, because the education system has failed to engage them? Because there are problems at home where it's more useful for them to blow their brains out with the drug for three hours? What are the issues? What are the drivers?," he said.

If you are struggling with substance abuse, you can call Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 177 833.

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