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Inquiry Details

The use of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications by children and young people

The use of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications by children and young people

The Committee on Children and Young People was formed in August 2000. The Committee's primary responsibility is to monitor and review the work of the Commission for Children and Young People and report its findings and recommendations to Parliament. In particular, the Committee is required to examine and report on annual and other reports of the Commission for Children and Young People. However, the Committee has a broader responsibility to examine trends and changes in services and issues affecting children and young people, and to make recommendations as to the need for changes to the functions and procedures of the Commission for Children and Young People. The terms of reference for the Committee are set out in Part 6 of the Children and Young People Act 1998, sections 27-30 and Schedule 1.

Resolution passed and message to the Assembly 6 April 2000, 2nd Session, Minutes No. 32, pp 371–2.

The Committee on Children and Young People is to conduct an inquiry into the efficacy and effectiveness of prescription and use of drugs and medications in children and young people. The inquiry will include examination of:

  • the use of drugs and medications in children and young people as a mental health strategy;
  • administration of prescribed drugs and medications by non-parental carers (e.g., schools, child care workers, juvenile justice workers, etc.);
  • prescription and use of drugs and medications developed for adults;
  • challenging behaviour and the use of psychotropic drugs and medication in children;
  • purposive "doping" or sedating of children;
  • the ability of children to effectively self-administer medications and drugs;
  • use of drugs and medications in sport activities involving children and young people;
  • possible alternatives to use of drugs and medications in children and young people; use of alcohol and tobacco by children and young people; and
  • any other relevant matters.

The Committee on Children and Young People invites written comment from interested organisations, groups and individuals regarding the terms of reference for the inquiry. The Committee on Children and Young People has prepared a number of issues papers relating to topics examined in this inquiry. These issues papers summarise the evidence presented to date before the Committee. The Committee invites further comment from the community on issues associated with the use of prescription drugs and over the counter medications by children and young people.


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