Drug preven­tion team formed in Great South­ern

Great Southern Herald - - News - Tim Ed­munds

The newly formed ac­tion team is go­ing to fo­cus on strate­gies for young peo­ple. Sachin Khairnar

A new drug-use preven­tion team will be es­tab­lished in the Great South­ern after re­ceiv­ing Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fund­ing to high­light the dan­gers of early teenage drink­ing and drugs such as metham­phetamine.

The Lower Great South­ern Lo­cal Drug Ac­tion Team for Al­bany, Den­mark and Cran­brook will re­ceive $10,000 from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment with sup­port from the Al­co­hol and Drug Foun­da­tion after be­ing one of 40 new teams cre­ated around the coun­try.

The Lo­cal Drug Ac­tion Team is a part­ner­ship be­tween Palmer­ston As­so­ci­a­tion, Al­bany Youth Sup­port As­so­ci­a­tion and the ex­ist­ing Al­bany lo­cal drug ac­tion group and will be work­ing with other ser­vices in the com­mu­nity to de­velop key mes­sages to young peo­ple and par­ents. Palmer­ston se­nior preven­tion of­fi­cer Sachin Khairnar said a com­mu­nity sur­vey last year high­lighted com­mu­nity con­cern about al­co­hol and young peo­ple in the re­gion.

“We all are aware that young peo­ple are drink­ing younger than be­fore and we also know that young peo­ple ex­per­i­ment with drugs, thus the newly formed ac­tion team is go­ing to fo­cus on strate­gies for young peo­ple,” he said.

“We are pleased that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has pro­vided fund­ing to es­tab­lish a Lo­cal Drug Ac­tion Team, as this will en­cour­age lo­cal ser­vices to im­prove our col­lec­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion.”

The LDAT is set to work with par­ents and guardians to raise their aware­ness of the dan­gers of early teenage drink­ing, par­tic­u­larly around brain devel­op­ment.

Mr Khairnar said the al­co­hol sec­ondary sup­ply law, which came into ef­fect in 2015, mak­ing it an of­fence to sup­ply un­der-18s with al­co­hol, was an im­por­tant piece of leg­is­la­tion.

Al­co­hol and Drug Foun­da­tion State man­ager Greg Wil­liams said the LDAT would play a key role in pre­vent­ing harms from al­co­hol and other drugs in the area.

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