Aussie Senator Admits Son's Meth Addiction, Pushes Involuntary Detox for Children

By McCarton Ackerman 08/12/15

Sen. Jacqui Lambie acknowledged that Australia doesn’t have the facilities to enforce mandatory detox.

Jacqui Lambie
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Just a day after an independent Senator for Tasmania, Australia, revealed that her son was battling a crystal meth addiction, she is now pushing a bill to let parents put their children into involuntary rehab programs and detox centers.

Jacqui Lambie confirmed that she will introduce a private member’s bill requesting this into the Senate. She’s hoping that the mandatory element will be put in place for up to six months, but said she is open to modifying the specific details of the plan.

Lambie revealed her 21-year-old son’s crystal meth addiction during a welfare debate earlier in the week. She said she had kicked him out of the house less than three months ago because he was stealing and behaving erratically.

“I just had no idea what he was going to do next. So for the safety of myself and somebody else that’s in the house, the best thing to do was to ask him to leave,” she said on ABC.

She later told ABC Radio that watching her son’s addiction was “the most awful, awful thing. It’s like you’re looking at your son, but it’s not your own son, and that in itself is heartbreaking ... [but] nobody else is calling the shots but me, so it’s going to fall on my shoulders whichever way it lands. I’m his mother, he’s my responsibility.”

Lambie acknowledged that Australia currently doesn’t have adequate facilities to enforce her mandatory detox program. However, she said that there are empty detention centers across the country that have gone unused for years and could serve as drug rehab facilities.

“We can convert them over ... I’m quite sure we can make them very cost effective,” she said. “What we spend on it early on compared to what it’s going to save society in years to come will be absolutely worth it. It will be priceless.”

The Tasmanian government declined to comment on its specific policies related to tackling crystal meth addiction, but is planning to release a full report of a task force into the issue.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.