Tweed Shire youth organisations are joining forces to provide community education about drug and alcohol use and its impact on young people with a free seminar.
Representatives from local organisations including the Family Centre, Intra and HeadSpace will take part and share their knowledge.
The seminar will not focus on any one particular substance but rather on the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol use and its impact on youth mental health.
Cabarita Youth Service secretary Kat Fermanis said it would be the first in a series of community seminars ‘which will provide education and information about how and where to get help and how our community might contribute towards prevention’.
‘These seminars are an informal presentation open to parents, carers, young people and community members in relation to a variety of topics with the first one being focused around the signs and symptoms of mental health and the impacts of drugs and alcohol on them,’ she said.
Intra Youth Services worker Siobhan Strain said, ‘information that is based on evidence and that is provided in a non‐judgmental manner is more effective than scare campaigns or sensationalist media reports.
‘For young people who are already taking drugs [IYS] offers a gateway into treatment and interventions that prevent an escalation of use and harm.’
The free seminar is being held at the Cabarita Beach Bowls and Sports Club on Monday 31 August at 6pm and will provide practical advice for parents on how to effectively communicate and engage with their children around drugs and alcohol.
Cabarita Youth Worker Chris Hitchcock said ‘this is an opportunity for parents and carers to hear from experts on issues impacting the lives of young people today.
Parents are encouraged to attend as research has shown they are the leading influence on kids’ decisions not to drink or use drugs.
‘Community seminars seek to empower communities by bringing together individuals, families and community leaders to bring awareness of and affect change around drug and alcohol trends and issues in the community, Chris Hitchock said.
‘By bringing community systems together, we create an open dialogue about substance abuse in our communities.’
For more information visit their Facebook page www. facebook.com/CabaritaYouthService or contact Event Organiser, Kat Fermanis on 0400 007 836