A TEAM of experts who work with users of the drug “ice” will deliver a free forum in Batemans Bay on May 8 to help community members manage the growing problem on the Far South Coast.
Parents and family members of people using ice are particularly urged to come to the event.
Guest speakers will talk about the drug’s effects, risks, and consequences to health and wellbeing.
Parents will receive information about prevention, as well as how to help youth who are casual users of the drug.
Family members will learn how to support people of all ages who are addicted to ice, and also how to manage their own experiences and anxieties when caring for their loved one.
Ice, or methamphetamine, is a stimulant drug that has been growing in popularity and availability in recent years.
Its side effects can include irritability, anxiety, anger, psychosis, extreme behaviour and physical degeneration.
Jon Rogers, CEO of Katungul Aboriginal Corporation, explained that in many social circles, people consider ice socially acceptable.
“Ice smokers often share the drug in a group setting and become more talkative and outgoing after using it,” Mr Rogers said.
“This can make it very appealing to vulnerable individuals, increasing the risk of ongoing use and addiction.”
The Batemans Bay Ice Forum will feature speakers and representatives from Odyssey House, Wandarma Drug and Alcohol Service, Katungul Medical Service, NSW Police, and local support services.
The event will also give attendees a chance to share their own stories or get confidential counselling for further support.
“This forum is about giving education and support – these agencies are not here to judge or punish people,” Mr Rogers said.
The forum will be held on May 8 from 9.30am until 4pm at Katungul Batemans Bay Clinic, 1-3 Old Princes Hwy, Batemans Bay, with lunch provided.
Places are limited, so individuals are encouraged to book their place by calling Shae on 6492 0532.
There is a possibility a free bus will ferry people from Eden and Bega to the forum if there’s enough interest.