The NSW Police have launched a new campaign in Dubbo aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of illegal drug use in Aboriginal communities across the state.
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‘Not Our Way’ has been developed by the NSW Police Drug and Alcohol Coordination team in conjunction with Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers (ACLOs), key health industry stakeholders as well as local Aboriginal elders and community members.
The campaign consists of dual videos that address the rising issue of methylamphetamine (‘ice’), the illegal use of pharmaceuticals, and the associated health and safety risks to both individuals’ and the wider community.
Additional educational resources – including youth-focused story books as well as brochures on health services that specialise in drug and alcohol recovery support – have been created as part of the campaign.
NSW Police Corporate Sponsor on Aboriginal Communities, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, said the campaign aims to highlight and address the challenges facing local Aboriginal communities.
“Research shows that Aboriginal communities are at greater risk of developing harmful long-term drug use than the general population, and both ‘ice’ and pharmaceuticals have shown the biggest spike more recently,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“The use and distribution of illegal drugs is not only against the law but it’s incredibly harmful to your health and can lead to many serious consequences including the breakdown of families and local communities.
“The rise in recreational pharmaceutical usage also shows that drugs don’t have to be illegal to be lethal and they can prove to be just as dangerous as their illicit counterparts,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“Both trends are of great concern so we’ve decided to get on the front foot and work with the Aboriginal community to address these specific challenges together, before people are faced with possible jail time and serious health effects.”
If you or someone you know is affected by drug use or addiction, please contact support services such as the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on (02) 9361 8000.
Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said the campaign seeks to educate people on the dangers of ‘ice’ and illegal pharmaceutical use by discussing their short and long-term effects while illustrating warning signs for friends and families of those possibly affected.
“Importantly, this is an initiative for and by Aboriginal people – it’s absolutely crucial that we work closely with one another to foster relationships and build stronger, safer communities that acknowledge key challenges while working collaboratively on solutions,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“The campaign videos also feature two individuals who speak candidly about their path to recovery and their associated experiences. Our hope is that their voices transect the community and let people know that help and support is available.
“Following today’s launch the campaign resources will be progressively rolled out across the state to send a positive message on behalf of the community that dangerous drug use is ‘Not Our Way.’
Members of the community can contact ADIS at any time for confidential information, advice and referral services.
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