Anex drug and alcohol worker Chris O’Mahony does not want to frighten the Shepparton community when he addresses a forum on the drug ice next month.DARREN LINTON January 25, 2014 5:27am
Mr O’Mahony said he would be frank about the destruction the drug caused, but would also preach a message of hope that communities such as Shepparton were best placed to combat the rise of the drug.
‘‘The idea of these forums is to give people some accurate information about what is going on, we know there’s a lot of it around,’’ he said.
‘‘There are certainly people who run into problems with this drug very quickly and it is destroying some people across the country.
‘‘It is a very quick downward spiral, it is a slippery slope and it is very slippery.’’
However, the experienced drug worker said he was also aware of people who used ice once a week or once a month.
Like any drug, he said the impact could be more acute for some and less for others.
Mr O’Mahony said there was no doubt the drug had serious consequences for frequent users, but he warned demonising addicts as monsters might deter them from seeking help.
Anex is an independent, not-for-profit health organisation dedicated to reducing the harms associated with drug use, including, injecting drug use, alcohol misuse, and pharmaceutical substance misuse.
The Goulburn Valley and Lower Hume Child FIRST Alliance has organised the Shepparton Ice Forum.
The alliance includes Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative, FamilyCare, The Bridge Youth Services and Victoria Police as a response to community concern.
Mr O’Mahony said forums in other regional cities attracted a range of people, including parents of ice addicts, but primarily people who were frightened by what they had seen or read and wanted more information.
‘‘We are trying to push the message that this is a community problem,’’ he said.
‘‘It is individuals, it is families, especially in towns like Shepparton the community is close-knit and needs to work together.’’
While there was a focus on the spread of the ice and its impact on users, their families and the community, Mr O’Mahony said a difference could be made much earlier by dealing with the issues that caused people to resort to drug use.
‘‘It is not just people trying to get high, it is for all sorts of reasons, it is not just a party drug,’’ he said.
‘‘The stronger a community is the less chance that someone who is part of that community will end up using.
‘‘It is not no hope, there is stuff we can do about this.’’
After spending two games in the WAFL Michael Barlow has been recalled to play for Fremantle against St Kilda this weekend.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
The Moama-Echuca Border Raiders took a big stride into the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League for 2016 with a solid, four-grade performance at Eaglehawk’s Truscott Reserve on Sunday.
THE town’s schools celebrated Education Week last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE Pre-school staff members were overwhelmed by the response to their annual Garden Express Spring Bulb fundraiser.
Youth services in Cobram have received a helping hand thanks to a new appointment made possible through a community store.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.