Fund­ing aids al­co­hol and drug pre­ven­tion

‘Com­mu­ni­ties That Care Alpine’ launches with a $10,000 boost

Myrtleford Times - - News - By JUSTIN JENVEY

A COM­MU­NITY-owned and op­er­ated group has re­ceived $10,000 to pre­vent harm from al­co­hol and other drugs in young peo­ple in Alpine Shire.

Com­mu­ni­ties That Care Alpine (CTCA) is one of 40 groups to be in­cluded in the se­cond round of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s and the Al­co­hol and Drug Foun­da­tion’s Lo­cal Drug Ac­tion Team (LDAT) pro­gram.

The team will of­fi­cially be launched at Alpine Health in Myrtle­ford to­day at 1pm, along with the Com­mu­ni­ties That Care Alpine ac­tion plan.

CTCA co­or­di­na­tor and Alpine Health health pro­mo­tion of­fi­cer Lisa Neville said the ac­tion plan has been de­vel­oped in re­cent years with strong com­mu­nity sup­port.

“One area of fo­cus is re­duc­ing ado­les­cent al­co­hol use,” she said.

“The CTCA com­mu­nity ac­tion plan pro­vides sup­port for ado­les­cents, fam­i­lies and their com­mu­nity to make bet­ter in­formed choices about ado­les­cent al­co­hol use.”

The fo­cus on ado­les­cent al­co­hol use has come about be­cause of find­ings from a Com­mu­ni­ties That Care youth sur­vey con­ducted in 2015 across schools in the Alpine Shire.

The re­sults showed that more than 10 per cent of year five and 30 per cent of year six stu­dents have tried al­co­hol.

The fig­ures in­creased with age - with 65pc of year nine stu­dents hav­ing tried al­co­hol and many re­port­ing reg­u­lar drink­ing and binge drink­ing.

“CTCA are ad­dress­ing this is­sue be­cause they are com­mit­ted to their vi­sion ‘strength­en­ing our com­mu­nity foun­da­tions; build­ing for the fu­ture’ and us­ing ev­i­dence-based in­ter­ven­tions to ad­dress a range of fac­tors, in­clud­ing al­co­hol, which may limit a young per­son’s de­vel­op­ment,” Ms Neville said.

“Cur­rent Na­tional Health and Med­i­cal Re­search Coun­cil guide­lines rec­om­mend that for op­ti­mal de­vel­op­ment and health, peo­ple un­der the age of 18 years should avoid al­co­hol.

“Data like the youth sur­vey report shows us that there a gap in un­der­stand­ing of the im­me­di­ate and long term ef­fects that al­co­hol has, es­pe­cially on the de­vel­op­ing brains and bod­ies of young peo­ple.

“Also that par­ents and young peo­ple may need sup­port around strate­gies and in­for­ma­tion to help fam­i­lies make bet­ter in­formed choices, have dis­cus­sions and set ex­pec­ta­tions around al­co­hol use.”

Ms Neville said the new ini­tia­tive was a real op­por­tu­nity for the Alpine Shire com­mu­nity to come to­gether and change the way we think about al­co­hol.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the CTCA LDAT you can con­tact Lisa Neville at Alpine Health on 5755 0132 or email lisa.neville@ alpine­health.org.au.

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