The Narooma Lions Club was pleased with the outcomes and message sent from its inaugural Drug and Alcohol Awareness Forum earlier this month.
A session for local schools held at Narooma Golf Club on Friday, November 10 was attended by about 80 students and teachers from Narooma High School and other Eurobodalla schools, while a follow-up session was held on Saturday for the general public.
Narooma Lions president Margaret Latimer said the forum was a success getting the message out that there was support available for individuals and families impacted on by alcohol and drugs.
“The student day on Friday was awesome,” Mrs Latimer said. “We had 80 teachers and kids here and the feedback was good. We certainly got the message across, if they wanted to hear it. Our aim was awareness and to to deter but we were just the facilitators.”
The Lions Club would review the event and hopefully put on another forum next year with some tweaking as to the timing and format, she said.
The forum was not necessarily targeted at people who use or are addicted to drugs and alcohol, but more for family members, friends and others who might be supporting or impacted by drugs and alcohol.
Having a big impact on the audience and the organisers were speakers Michelle Preston and Donna Falconer, two mothers of drug affected families who started the group called “Ice … turning family pain into power”.
One piece of good news for the youth of Narooma is that the Lighthouse Surgery has just started a teen clinic were any teenager can attend and speak to a nurse about any health issue, including substance abuse, in total confidence without their parents being there.
Nurse Isobel Haida and general practitioner Dr Gundi Muller-Grotjan attended to the forum to talk about the new teen clinic.
Also present at both sessions were Narooma police Sergeant Brendan O'Mahoney and Far South Coast Local Area Command’s Detective Sergeant Justin Marks of the NSW Police.
After each of the speakers there was a Q&A session and attendees were be able to speak to other organisations present, such as the Salvation Army, members from Monty’s Cafe, and Lions, who had printed information available.