Free ‘ice’ forum aims to educate

The impact of 'ice'.
The impact of 'ice'.

Anyone wanting to understand more about the country’s ‘ice’ (crystalline methamphetamine) epidemic and its impact on our local community is encouraged to attend a free forum hosted by Tenterfield’s Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) at the Tenterfield School of Arts on Thursday, February 23.

An experienced group of presenters are lining up to share information on the illicit drug and what communities like Tenterfield can do about it, not only to support individuals and families coping with an addiction but how to prevent its onset in the first place.

Tenterfield Social Development Committee (TSDC)’s Karen Mooney emphasised that the forum is an information-sharing exercise, with David Townes on board as master of ceremonies to keep proceedings on topic. 

He will be joined by presenters Annie Bleeker of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, local community member Deborah Lions sharing her family's exposure to the drug, John Gordon of Hunter New England Health’s Drug & Alcohol Clinical Services, Police Inspector Roger Best of Armidale Local Area Command, and Paul Phillips of The Buttery Intra Team.

As well as a residential addiction rehab, The Buttery also operates community outreach programs. Its mantra is Addiction is not a consequence of choice: rehabilitation is.

The Breaking the Ice forum is a proven platform that has also been run in other towns. Mrs Mooney said she attended the one in Inverell, and found it valuable.

CDAT runs local grant-funded programs as resources allow. Mrs Mooney said past events include early intervention with children and brainstorming and trivia sessions, all with a drug-prevention theme. Team members are taking advantage of the template provided by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation to reproduce the successful forum for the Tenterfield community.

The aim is to help services, frontline workers and community members get the facts about crystalline methamphetamine use, offer help to understand some of the issues, and provide evidence-based information about the drug and where to seek help, support and treatment locally.

The content is aimed at adults (over the age of 18), and the forum runs from 6pm to 8pm. While tickets are free, attendance should be registered at stickytickets.com.au/48984.