Ice scourge prompts loved ones to demand lie detector tests

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Ice scourge prompts loved ones to demand lie detector tests Herald Sun Ice scourge prompts loved ones to demand lie detector tests By Alex White 5 July 2014 Amphetamine abuse is soaring in Victoria prompting suspicious relatives to ask children as young as 14 to take a test to prove they are drug free. Australian Polygraph Services is receiving two requests a month from families that believe a sibling, partner or child is on drugs. In 95 per cent of cases, ice is believed to be the substance being used, according to director Steve Van Aperen. But in a surprising twist, Mr Van Aperen said most children who agreed to take a lie-detector test proved they were drug free. “Truthful people will often do anything to exonerate their name,” he said. “They don’t like being accused by their parents and in half the cases it is the child who is the one asking for it (the test). “What we do find is people who are taking drugs will cancel at the last moment.’’ Mr Van Aperen said he has refused requests to test children under the age of 16. The most common reason parents and spouses requested a test was because they had ­noticed behavioural change ­including paranoia and scratching. Mr Van Aperen said the use of polygraph tests was growing in demand with up to 22 inquiries a week across Australia ­including allegations of unfaithful partners and child abuse. A growing number of families were struggling with the ice epidemic, said Self Help Addiction ­Resource Centre CEO Heather Pickard, and ­she encouraged communication before resorting to science. “We speak to over 7000 families every year that are in crisis,’’ she said. “Our first port of call with families is to facilitate direct communication, rather than coming in with a police response like requiring a drug test or a polygraph.’’ She said all families were different and encouraged counselling. If you have a relative who needs support call the Family Drug Helpline on 1300 660 068.

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