Residents urged to sign up online to attend community forum on ice

BALLARAT residents are being urged to sign up online before attending a community session providing information on the drug ice.

The meeting will be held tomorrow night with hundreds expected to attend the forum and ask questions about the drug and how best to combat it in Ballarat.

Alcohol and other drugs outreach worker Suzanne Powell said the event would tackle some of the myths that exist surrounding the drug.

“I think people will attend to gain more information and education, credible information,” she said.

“A lot of the media about the drug focuses on the violence and aggression and that is not applicable to all people who use ice.

“People use it to varying degrees.” 

Ms Powell will also be a panellist on the evening providing information about where users and their families can turn for help. 

“If someone is using the drug and they are not ready to change their ways, there isn’t much you can do about that, but you can certainly gain the support and information now,” she said. 

“For some people it sort of sneaks up on them.”

Ms Powell said some people who used the drug could be working full-time and fully functioning without many signs of its use. 

In particular, she highlighted the importance of having ice expert Crios O’Mahony as a panellist.

Ms Powell said often families of those using the drug had no previous experience with drug addiction. 

“I don’t think Ballarat is any worse than anywhere else,” she said

“It is just becoming more readily available and more common.”

A State Parliament Methamphetamine Inquiry sat in Ballarat in November and heard from community groups, health workers and users about the devastating toll the drug has taken.

The session will be held tomorrow at 6.30pm at the Geoffrey Blainey Auditorium at Federation University’s Mt Helen Campus.

Anyone interested in attending the event can sign up at www.justice.vic.gov.au.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Ice forum

WHEN: Tomorrow, 6.30pm

WHERE: Geoffrey Blainey Auditorium, Federation University, Mt Helen Campus

REGISTRATION: justice.vic.gov.au

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