Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Huge demand for drug info

A drug and alcohol forum for parents was held at the Deniliquin High School’s multi-purpose centre on Monday night.

June 6, 2014 3:25am

Gayle Lindeman from Community Mental Health Drug and Alcohol, paramedic Peter Dawson, Intereach C5000 program project worker Lourene Liebenberg and drug and alcohol speaker Sonya Karras.

Parent interest in learning about youth drug and alcohol issues was evident when a one hour session lasted three hours on Monday night.

The drug and alcohol forum for parents was held at the Deniliquin High School’s multi-purpose centre.

It featured drug and alcohol speaker Sonya Karras, who founded educational seminar provider Whole New World.

Ms Karras also led sessions for Year 11 and 12 students from the high school the following morning.

The forum was coordinated by Intereach, and its C500 program project worker Lourene Liebenberg hopes Ms Karras can return to host more sessions in the future.

‘‘Parents had lots of questions,’’ Mrs Liebenberg said.

‘‘It is so important we educate people about drugs and alcohol.

‘‘Hopefully we will be able to hold another event like this if we can get funding.

‘‘We also hope Sonya will be able to come back and speak during the Driver Education Program (which is offered to Year 10 Deniliquin High School students at the end of the year).

‘‘A lot of parents on Monday night thought it would be a beneficial session for Year 9 students as well.’’

About 80 parents learned how to start conversations about drugs and alcohol with their children, while students were educated about how to go out and stay safe.

Ms Karras covered a range of issues such as safe partying, nightclubbing, ‘schoolies’, formals and after parties.

Each year she presents to tens of thousands of young people, parents, teachers and organisations with her informative and highly amusing seminars.

Last year Ms Karras appeared on Channel 10’s The Project and she has also been interviewed by several other notable media outlets.

Joining Ms Karras on the panel for both the parent and student sessions were representatives from NSW Ambulance, NSW Police, local youth workers and mental health professionals.

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