Today:- Canberra, Nov – Young Australians identified drugs and alcohol as the leading cause for concern in the nation’s biggest annual survey of its adolescents.
The survey, carried out by Christian charity organisation Mission Australia, asked 19,000 Australians aged between 15 to 19 what they thought were the biggest issues confronting the nation, Xinhua reported.
Close to 27 percent of those who responded cited alcohol and drugs as their No.1 problem.
Catherine Yeomans, chief executive of Mission Australia, said the spread of the drug ice — also known as crystal methamphetamine — may have influenced the 4.9 percent increase in this figure, compared to the 2014 survey.
“Alongside general concerns surrounding use of alcohol and drugs among peers, this concern may reflect the permeation of the drug ice through many communities in Australia,” Yeomans told the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) on Monday.
A report released by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) last week estimated that almost one in 10 Australians had tried ice at least once, while a total 500,000 adults were said to be frequent users.
Other issues of concern highlighted by survey participants were equity and discrimination (25 percent) as well as the economy and how well-off they were financially (18.9 percent).
“More than half of the young people in Australia who responded to the survey think that there are actually barriers to achieving what they want, in terms of their future, education and employment goals,” Yeomans said.
“So that really is a standout and some of the areas the young people have identified as being barriers are academic ability, financial difficulty and a lack of jobs,” Yeomans said.
This year’s survey also uncovered that the country’s adolescent females struggled to match their male peers for confidence levels when asked about their future career paths.
“Twice as many young women think that their academic ability is likely to be a barrier to future success, and twice as many young women also believe financial difficulty and lack of jobs will be a barrier for them compared to young men,” Yeomans said.
“It highlights the increased need to tackle wider gender equality. Despite some progress, women are still woefully under-represented in leadership roles across all sectors.”