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.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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