PANTHERS Port Macquarie is hosting an ice forum on October 20 to address the stigma of crystalline methamphetamine for both users and their families in the community.
Data has revealed that in New South Wales the number of methamphetamine-related presentations to 56 public hospital emergency departments increased from about 470 in 2009/10 to 4,771 in 2015/16.
In response to the problem, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) and the New South Wales Government are working with Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs) across the state to roll out a series of ‘Breaking the Ice’ forums.
The forum aims to ensure the Port Macquarie community is informed about crystalline methamphetamine, by seeing the person, not just the drug. This relates to breaking down stigma and promoting social inclusion.
ADF NSW Program Manager Annie Bleeker said it takes an average of five to 10 years for a person to receive help and treatment, as stigma around taking the drug is a big issue.
At the forum, local leaders and experts in drug prevention and harm reduction are available so people understand the issues and misconceptions surrounding ‘ice’.
“This forum will provide you with evidence based information about ‘ice’ and where to seek help, support and treatment in your area. The solution lies in the community’s hands and we will give you some practical tools to deal with the issue,” said Ms Bleeker.
“More importantly, we need to start seeing the person rather than just the drug and to encourage people to seek help early, rather than hide the problem.”
The forum is at Panthers Port Macquarie on Thursday, October 20 with a 6.30pm start.
People can register for the event at adfpm.eventbrite.com.au