Home' Scoop : Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Contents environment. As individuals, success in the 21st century is as much about
self-discipline, moderation and abstinence, as it is about drive and ambition.
The issue we face is not ‘living without’, but ‘living to excess’.
The problem is that as a community and as individuals, we are not
well made for moderation. Excess is available to absolutely everyone at any
time and at any age. Morbid obesity and diabetes in children has ballooned
in the past 20 years, with greater access to processed and junk food, and
the increase in sedentary activities like TV and computer gaming. Kids
didn’t run up thousands of dollars in mobile bills because mobiles weren’t
commonplace. Adults didn’t have access to endless credit and low-doc loans.
There was no worldwide web to provide instant access to g ambling, shopping,
cyber-bullying and porn.
More importantly, we didn’t have the mass media and some of the world’s
best brains convincing us to consume. Eating disorders and anorexia have risen
sharply since the 90s, with one in 20 Australian women admitting to having an
eating disorder by the turn of the century *. About one in 100 adolescents will
develop anorexia ner vosa, five times that bulimia, and 68 percent of 15-year-
old girls in one survey said they were on a diet, eight percent severely so. **
The phenomenon of celebrity for celebrity’s sake didn’t exist. You actually
had to have talent! These days, reality TV and celebrity mag azines parade
people’s excesses like a badg e of honour – as long as you check in to a drug
rehab or sex clinic, then it’s all okay.
When dealing with issues of appetites and addiction, limiting supply is
only part of the answer – education is the only long-term solution. Look
at the success of the drives for HIV and smoking awareness. Both used
strong fact-based campaigns to promote safe practice and both were highly
successful. And that brings us to our major feature focus for this edition –
Inside WA’s dr ug scene: the new debate (p96).
The one shining light in this debate is that despite common perception,
sur veys show illegal drug use is in decline. Kids are getting smarter. But when
it comes to drugs, we still need to get educated, really educated, much better
educated than our kids. We need to truly understand the nature of the problem
– the highs and lows, the short- and long-term risks and the trade-offs.
Why? Because this is not the 1950s. From our schools through to the
workplace, the local g ym and sports clubs, bars and nightclubs, the military,
the police, the office, next door and at home, drugs are a reality. There’s that
Links Archive Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Scoop 55 Autumn 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page