Hopetoun to host ice forum

THE TRUTH ABOUT ICE: Gateway BEET's Jane Hatcher, right, hands a flyer for next month's The Truth About Ice forum at Hopetoun to Hamish Morcom and Mikayla Woods. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

THE TRUTH ABOUT ICE: Gateway BEET's Jane Hatcher, right, hands a flyer for next month's The Truth About Ice forum at Hopetoun to Hamish Morcom and Mikayla Woods. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

RURAL Northwest Health will host a community crystal methamphetamine forum at Hopetoun next month.

The Truth About Ice forum is a follow-up to a successful forum at Warracknabeal in May, which was attended by more than 350 people.

It will be at Hopetoun Memorial Hall on August 5.

A Mildura Police youth worker and a drug treatment nurse will lead guest speakers from Sunraysia Community Health.

Leading Senior Constable Gary Gleeson works with youth, linguistically diverse communities and vulnerable people such as the aged.

His main focuses are crime prevention and a reduction in youth offending.

Leading Sen Const Gleeson will speak about the relationship between drugs and crime.

He said every Australian community was affected by drugs - particularly the ice epidemic.

"Nowhere is exempt and the issues are the same for the country towns as they are for the cities," he said.

"The drugs become an addiction and because of that, they turn to crime to feed their habit.

"The role for the police is really about trying to rehabilitate these offenders because the ones we want to bring to justice are the makers and suppliers."

Leading Sen Const Gleeson said police were taking steps to prevent the amount of drug warrants being issued.

"The drugs are nothing new," he said.

"Ice has been around for more than 20 years, but the people producing it are getting better as chemists and it's cheap to make."

Leading Sen Const Gleeson said ice was not a big issue for the region's youth.

"It's mainly older teens and those in their 20s and 30s that are the most likely to use it," he said.

"They're from all sorts of social backgrounds and to see what this drug does to people is just terrible."

Leading Sen Const Gleeson urged Hopetoun and district residents to attend the forum, which opens at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start.

He said people could call Gateway BEET on 5083 3001 for more information or to book.

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