I read an article recently which made me roll my eyes with frustration.
"WHY CAN'T WE SOLVE THE COUNTY LINES PROBLEM?"
More specifically, the relentless amount of teenagers being recruited into County Line gangs, and the failure at getting these teenagers OUT.
You know that irritating phrase "you can't help someone that doesn't want to help themselves"? I know that phrase very well...as an addict, you get used to hearing your friends and family justify their failure trying to get you clean using that saying.
Don't get me wrong, it's true. You can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped. And there's your answer.
Add one emotionally unstable teenager with raging hormones, who hates the world, despises discipline, feels rejected and starved of attention, with a gang of violent drug dealers...the outcome? A teenager that has an outlet for his anger, makes his own rules, and has become star of the show literally overnight. Parents, teachers, social services, police; all falling over themselves trying to get his attention.
When are we going to realise that what we see as a problem for a teenager, is actually their solution?
Repeatedly stating to a teenager THAT THEIR involvement in County Lines IS A PROBLEM, is akin to repeatedly stating the sky isn't blue, it's GREEN.