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CDAT Moree invites everyone to attend Breaking the Ice forum

KIDS as young as six years of age roaming the streets of Moree late at night and allegedly affected by harmful substances will be just one of the controversial topics discussed at a public forum into the use of crystalline methamphetamine – or ICE as it is more commonly known – in the local community.

ICE is a very real issue in Moree, and the local Community Drug Action Team (CDAT), along with key members of the local community, health experts in the field of drug abuse and related government departments will come together at the February 16 public forum to look at the problem from a different angle.

Moree CDAT will roll out Breaking the Ice, a forum where keynote speakers will include Barwon LAC Detective Inspector David Silversides, workshop trainer and facilitator Annie Bleeker and Dr Adrian Dunlop, a conjoint associate professor at the University of Newcastle who has more than 20 years’ experience as an addiction clinician and 16 years’ experience as a clinician and researcher.

Ms Bleeker has worked as a senior research officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW since 2003 and is currently a freelance trainer, writer, evaluator and researcher.

LindaCDAT001

Moree CDAT chair Linda Woodbridge invites all Moree Plains’ residents to attend the Breaking the Ice forum at Moree on February 16 (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

She is also a guest lecturer and tutor at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health.

Moree CDAT chair Linda Woodbridge said local leaders and experts in drug prevention and harm reduction will be on hand to help Moree residents understand the issues and misconceptions surrounding ICE.

“A significant outcome of the forum would be if community members and service providers come together as a group to look at ways to effectively change what is going on in families where six-year-olds are on the streets at midnight . . . and allegedly using harmful substances,” Ms Woodbridge said.

“This forum will provide everyone with evidence-based information about ICE and where to seek help, support and treatment.

“The solution lies in the hands of the community and we will give some practical tools to deal with the issue.

“More importantly, we need to start seeing the person rather than just the drug and to encourage people to seek help early, rather than hide the problem,” she said.

“I would never take away from the committed social services provided in Moree. They do such good work, but something is slipping through – and has been for too many years, and too many lives have been ruined,” she said.

CDAT Moree cannot stress enough that everyone is welcome to the February 16 community meeting.

“If Moree initiates something ground-breaking – as Moree and its spectacular achievements is known for – we can pass it on to other country towns that are in the same boat,” Ms Woodbridge said.

Data shows that in NSW the number of methamphetamine-related presentations to 56 public hospital emergency departments increased approximately from 470 in 2009-2010 to 4771 in 2015-16.

This number compared to 13,042 emergency department presentations for alcohol problems in 2015-2016.

The Moree forum, between 6pm and 8pm at Moree Services Club, aims to ensure that the Moree community:

  • Is informed about crystalline methamphetamine;
  • Sees the person, not just the drug. This relates to breaking down stigma and promoting connectedness and social inclusion in communities; and
  • Understands that the community is “all in this together”. Communities can work together to prevent harms through drug use.

Ms Woodbridge says now is the time for change.

“Police, government and many communities across NSW are all saying the same thing — we can no longer arrest our way out of the problem,” she said.

“This is a community problem which has a community solution. So I urge all members of the Moree Shire community to come along and be informed about ICE and see how we can reduce its use in our area.”

Forum details

Date: February 16

Time: 6pm – 8pm

Location:  Moree Services Club

Register: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/46935

About:

Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs): The NSW Government’s Community Engagement and Action Program (CEAP) is administered by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. The program oversees the coordination and operation of Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs).

For more information about CDATs and drug and alcohol prevention go to www.adf.org.au/cdat

Alcohol and Drug Foundation: Celebrating more than 55 years of service to the community, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation is one of Australia’s leading bodies committed to preventing alcohol and other drug problems in communities around the nation. The Foundation reaches millions of Australians in local communities through sporting clubs, workplaces, health care settings and schools, offering educational information, drug and alcohol prevention programs and advocating for strong and healthy communities.