Children and drugs: The protection racket

Kevin Phillips - Pixabay


Children and drugs: The protection racket

16 May 2023
Isabelle Volpe
University of New South Wales

"The decisions that we make in the name of protection are designed to make adults feel safe, not children." - Isabelle Volpe.

When we introduce laws and policies to protect our children from drugs, are we actually doing more harm than good?

Historically, the ‘protection of children’ has been more about adult fears than child wellbeing. But even today, our ideas about protecting children are still quite paternalistic, exclusionary, dishonest and sometimes even dangerous. It's easy enough to stick our heads in the sand and imagine that we can wish away children’s drug use. It’s harder, but far more rewarding, to look at things from the point of view of our children.

Isn’t it time we stopped framing our rules around ideas of right and wrong, and started thinking in terms of what would really keep more children safe? Won’t someone please think of the children?