Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Copyright: News Limited 1998
Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 
Page: 20 
Author: Ken Russell
Note: The OPED this PUB LTE references is at:


PAUL Gray's article "Soft heroin talk fails" (Herald Sun, December 17),
discussing teenagers and drugs, was strange in that it contained no input
from teenagers.

The absence of teenagers allowed Mr Gray to mould them into people who are
apparently completely unable to make discerning decisions of their own.

The smart ones, we are told, interpret strategies designed to save the
lives of heroin users as justification for experimenting with the drug.

We can only assume that the less-intelligent apparently try it without any

In fact, the smart teenagers interpret harm minimisation strategies for
what they are, much like any other switched-on member of the community.
They also know that needle exchange programs (according to research in
Australia and America) save lives and do not increase drug use.

Paul Gray's attempt to censor people who advocate harm minimisation
strategies for fear of how teenagers may respond "subliminally" speaks
volumes about how out of touch he is with teens.

Teenagers are a mixed bunch but the number who see safe injecting rooms as
a reason to shoot up are small.

Give our children some credit, Mr Gray.

Ken Russell, North Wollongong, NSW 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake