Wimmera's ice family support group lacks numbers

LACK of numbers is threatening the survival of the Wimmera's ice family support group

LACK of numbers is threatening the survival of the Wimmera's ice family support group

LACK of numbers is threatening the survival of the Wimmera's ice family support group.

The group was formed in February following successful crystal methamphetamine forums in Horsham late last year.

Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce co-ordinator and Grampians Community Health alcohol and other drugs counsellor Brendan Scale said the support group was part of the taskforce's continuing, region-wide ice action plan.

"It's important for people to know where to go to get help," he said.

"Family members of users are suffering as much - if not more - than users."

Mr Scale said the support group, which met fortnightly, offered family members of users a confidential environment to share their stories and help each other.

"Members have said it's great because the others understand what they're going through without them having to explain it," he said.

"They don't feel judged."

Mr Scale encouraged people with family members or friends battling ice addiction to attend the support group.

The group meets at Grampians Community Health fortnightly on Thursdays.

The next meeting will be Thursday from 7pm to 8pm.

"The meetings are free and people can share as much as they choose to," Mr Scale said. "Often family members feel isolated and alone.

"What is said within the group stays within the group - the benefits will far outweigh any perceived risk."

Mr Scale also encouraged people to attend one of the four ice forums scheduled for the Wimmera between now and the end of July.

The first forum will be in Warracknabeal tonight, followed by one in Ararat on June 4.

There will be an indigenous forum in Horsham on June 11, with a second Horsham forum scheduled for July 23.

Mr Scale said people could call him on 5362 1200 for more information about the forums or the family support group

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