Over the past two years, we’ve run a successful campaign to address the stigma of drug use as a means of encouraging people to seek help. The key outcome of our project to date has been a mature and respectful community conversation about problematic drug use.
This has started a shift in community attitudes about illicit and problematic drugs, reducing the negative labelling commonly directed towards people who use these, especially methamphetamine. It has also broadened our community’s understanding about the contributing factors that can lead to addiction.
In May 2018, our community conversation helped persuade the Victorian Government to commit to a thirty-bed residential drug rehabilitation facility at Wangaratta. This has been a relief for local families.
In 2019, we engaged with local employers to help them to support members of their workforce grappling with drug use and for them to be open to employing recovering users.
Our project is made possible through assistance from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Rural City of Wangaratta and the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety.
Our Local Drug Action Team is also supported by Gateway Health, Sport North East, North East Family Support Group, NESAY, ACSO, Northeast Health Wangaratta, Albury Wodonga Health, The Centre for Continuing Education, Victoria Police, and the Victorian Government Departments of Education and Training, and Health and Human Services.