A frank, honest, sometimes funny and at times sad discussion about the drug ice was held in Mullumbimby on Monday night.
Just one myth busted was the belief that ice, or methamphetamine, isn’t a significant issue in regional Australia.
The Court House Hotel was packed with locals who heard from a range of panellists who work in the drug and alcohol sector.
The message from the night, which was chaired by Echonetdaily’s Mandy Nolan, centred around the social disconnect, lack of parental guidance and mentors that cause the gravitational pull towards destructive addiction.
One panelist, Paul Phillips, said, ‘Ice smashes the central nervous system.’
‘Like speed, this is a very destructive drug. Ice is actually known as high-quality speed.’
As for the cost to bu the drug, Mr Phillips said it isn’t cheap in regional areas. ‘In Sydney it’s half the price… ‘I believe the ice that is around here comes from the Gold Coast,’ he said.
Mental health worker Clancy Bernard said parents need to have an open conversation about drugs at home.
‘Start early,’ he said to applause.
Mullumbimby High School principal Donna Pearson said that drug education is part of the school’s curriculum. ‘We have a relationship with the Buttery [recovery facility], and we are focusing on building skills and resilience.’
While the audience and panelists mentioned local help groups, government funding cuts were highlighted as hampering the support that is needed.
Politicians present included mayor Simon Richardson, NSW Greens MLC Jan Barham, Greens NSW candidate Tamara Smith and NSW Labor candidate Cr Paul Spooner.
Local police were invited but did not attend.
For those with a problem with drugs and alcohol, or who are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it is important to seek immediate help.
Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 or if you are under 18 years old, Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800.