Con­tin­u­ing the booze con­ver­sa­tion here

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

The writer of the popular blog ‘‘Mrs D is Go­ing With­out’’ is vis­it­ing the re­gion this month to help raise aware­ness of al­co­hol and drug ad­dic­tion is­sues.

Lotta Dann is a mother of three sons and lives in Wellington with her jour­nal­ist hus­band Corin Dann.

Her blog ‘Mrs D Is Go­ing With­out’ be­gan in late 2011 as a se­ries of pri­vate let­ters hid­den in a cor­ner of the in­ter­net, but the site now re­ceives thou­sands of vis­i­tors ev­ery day.

In it, Dann de­scribes her drink­ing prob­lem, charts her route to so­bri­ety and re­veals how vi­tal the on­line blog­ging com­mu­nity be­came.

Dann also man­ages the ‘‘Liv­ing Sober’’ web­site backed by sev­eral health agen­cies in­clud­ing the Health Pro­mo­tion Agency.

Her visit has been co-or­di­nated by the Wanaka Al­co­hol Group (WAG), which in July held a com­mu­nity fo­rum on le­gal highs and al­co­hol.

WAGspokeswoman Kathy Dedo said last week thatWAGjoined with Youth Ac­cess to Al­co­hol (YATA) and Cen­tral Otago Drink Aware (CODA) to foster a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing be­tween par­ents and chil­dren of al­co­hol and drugs is­sues.

Dann’s pre­sen­ta­tion is part of the On the Same Wave­length se­riesWAGde­vised to help con­nect par­ents with each other and the com­mu­nity.

Dedo said the se­ries was go­ing well in Wanaka, with about 100 peo­ple turn­ing up.

There had been good turnouts at other towns, she said.

‘‘The de­sired ef­fect is to con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion and that is def­i­nitely hap­pen­ing. One of the re­ally next things is get­ting feed­back from peo­ple who couldn’t at­tend for what­ever rea­son, say­ing they wished they could have,’’ Dedo said.

While things had ‘‘gone quiet’’ over the win­ter, there were is­sues loom­ing about le­gal highs and the kinds of by­laws the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties would make to con­trol them, she said.

For real: Lotta Dann has been there, done that and knows how de­struc­tive it can be.

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