Children as young as 10 are consuming drugs, with methamphetamines, marijuana and alcohol the substances of choice.
The Youth Projects Northern Outreach Team statistics paint a bleak picture of drug use, with 736 people aged under 24 turning to the Glenroy service for help in the past four years.
And counsellor Melanie Raymond said a lack of funding was frustrating GPs, who had few referral options for young addicts waiting months for help.
“A young person will face wait times from six weeks to three months for an appointment, by which time they may no longer have the will to enter rehab or the drug use has become worse,” Ms Raymond said.
She said effective treatment relied on addicts being offered immediate access to services as soon as they sought help.
She also revealed the Youth Projects Northern Outreach Team had missed out Federal Government funding to boost services and meet demand.
“There was an allocation of funds set aside by the Federal Government that we were hoping to see, but unfortunately the bulk of the money went to the western suburbs,” she said.
“We had plans to put in a community-based drug treatment centre but we didn’t get the funds to do so.”
The service missed out on money distributed by North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network to drug and alcohol services across Melbourne’s north and west.
Originally Published by the Herald Sun, continue reading here.