The Australian Drug Foundation is part of plan to prevent drugs in Wellington

The Community Drug and Alcohol Team has started back up in Wellington following community concern about Wellington's drug problem, but chair of CDAT Campbell Hyland said the issue of drugs didn't discriminate when it came to communities and that Wellington was among a few towns and cities in the region that had decided to take a proactive stance as a means of prevention.

There has been a recent clamp down on drugs and police have said that for many years it used to be considered a low socio-economic problem but now it is a problem that is found right across the board.

In a bid to bring about more awareness CDAT held their first event and are planning more.

The Other Talk, delivered by Geoff Munro of the Australian Drug Foundation took place at Wellington High School, addressing the questions that parents often ask about drugs and alcohol.

"Parents have got used to doing the sex talks but these days they struggle with talking about alcohol, which is why we have The Other Talk," Mr Munro said, adding that they should start this conversation at a young age.

"Most adults have trouble expressing their concerns to children because parents often feel they will be hypocritical, and alcohol is the main focus of the talk because while drugs are an issue, most adults drink alcohol which provides a model in the home so the greater challenge is alcohol."

The good news is that parents have more of an influence than they would think.

Mr Munro said that even though teenagers could be difficult they often took on board what their parents said and did.

For example, according to Mr Munro, children who know their parents disapprove of their drinking will drink less.

Far from becoming a growing problem, he believes things are looking more positive, too.

"Since we have been doing the talks we have been noticing an impact," he said.

"We are seeing young people drink less and attitudes changing."

"There is a growing concern and people are taking care of their own health. They're joining gyms and providing health insurance; people are seeing a benefit to remaining healthy."

He said that people were also becoming more educated when it came to the risks involved.

The Other Talk has been taking place in NSW, Canberra and Victoria and now Wellington, Forbes, Parkes and Cowra have taken up the talk in the region.Mr Munro said he hoped parents would leave with more confidence.

You can find out more by adding the Australian Drug Foundation on Facebook.

Meanwhile CDAT is looking for community input. You can contact Campbell Hyland on 68 40 72 10.


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