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Isabelle Volpe | Children and drugs: the protection racket

Isabelle Volpe

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? 

To access a transcript of this podcast please head here.

This talk was a part of Fresh Blood, an event of short talks in the 2022 Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Isabelle Volpe

Isabelle Volpe

Isabelle Volpe is a PhD candidate in the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney. Her PhD research uses critical social science approaches to explore the intersection of young people, drugs, policy and participation. Isabelle's research has focused on treatment and policy for alcohol and other drugs. Her previous projects have included clinical trials, treatment guidelines, government-commissioned projects, and the design of health promotion interventions. Isabelle is also involved in advocacy efforts relating to drug checking and young people’s drug use. 

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