Take children from addicts, inquiry urges

The Age (Australia) September 14, 2007
CHILDREN of drug addicts should be put up for adoption and their parents forced to show why the child would be better off remaining at home, a controversial parliamentary inquiry report recommends. Accusing drug experts and treatment programs of being an industry with an interest in keeping people on drugs, the report calls for a dramatic change in approach. Inquiry chairwoman Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop said the rhetoric of the “drug industry” was “focused on the user to the detriment of children and other family members” and treatment was underpinned by an attitude “that it’s all amoral and & that you don’t make a judgement on things being right or wrong”.Among its 31 recommendations, the report calls for children under five — whose parents’ drug use is the subject of a child protection notification — to be put up for adoption unless a parent or child protection worker can show the child would be better off remaining with the family. It also recommends:?A review of needle exchange programs and their impact on the communities in which they’re based;?Quarantines of child welfare payments to ensure they’re spent on food and other essentials;?Government subsidies for the controversial treatment Naltrexone which causes the body to reject heroin;?And cuts in government funding for treatment programs that support legalisation of illicit drugs, use language trivialising drug use (such as “recreational drugs”), or don’t aim to get their clients “drug-free”.