Discussion. A community drug forum is set for Friday night, with notable speakers arriving in Smithton for the session.
Drugs have been at the forefront of conversations of late, following recent media coverage.
While some people have expressed concerns about what the coverage is doing to Circular Head’s image, Rural Health’s Robert Waterman sees it another light:
“We’re not spoiling the town, we’re saving it,” he said.
“People are generally afraid of what they can’t understand. I do accept that this is an uncomfortable issue, but denying this does not mean it does not exist.”
In the past three months alone, 83 people have sought help from Rural Health for drug issues. This includes parents, friends and users themselves.
“This drug is phenomenally destructive,” Mr Waterman said of the methamphetamine which gives users an intense rush lasting up to 12 hours. “It harms families and children.”
The drug is now readily available, cheap, and promoted as a ‘party drug’, though it’s effects are more sinister than drugs under that umbrella.
“When it’s easier to get drugs then it is to get treatment, there is a problem,” Mr Waterman said.
The forum will provide information about the drug, what people can do if they are concerned for themselves or a loved one, and allow for questions from the audience.
It will be facilitated by Federal Member for Braddon, Brett Whiteley, and speakers include Mr Waterman, retired Burnie Magistrate Don Jones and Tasmania Police Western District Commander Locky Avery.
Mr Waterman said the forum is aimed at adults – parents and carers – with aims to implement early intervention and prevention programs for adolescents in the new year.
“I don’t believe that you have a choice until you are informed,” Mr Waterman said. “The programs will allow children to have an understanding of the harms and how painful their lives will become if they use it.”
He said only through education can the community put a stop to the destruction and pass the skills onto children to know how to say ‘no’.
A drug forum is set for Friday October 31, at 6.45pm at Circular Head Community and Recreation Centre. For more information contact Rural Health on 6452 1266.