Counsellors at the Mount Druitt branch of the renowned Ted Noffs Foundation say parents see the practice as an easy alternative to soften their unruly kids.ews.com.au quoted clinical psychologist Michael Kirton as saying: "We are seeing six-year-olds being given bongs by their families to keep them quiet, stop them crying, or put them to sleep.
"Our counselors see it being used more and more as a way for families to control the kids and make life easier for the parents."
Mount Druitt and the suburbs around it are areas of utter poverty and have the highest unemployment rate of 20 per cent in Australia.
Kirton said: "Kids are growing up in families who haven't worked in three or four generations and they believe taking drugs is normal because that's all they know.
"Mount Druitt is a bit of a war zone for us, unfortunately."