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The ice epidemic laid bare

Bundaberg now is the time to act to stop the drug ice
Bundaberg now is the time to act to stop the drug ice Contributed

PEOPLE from all walks of life attended the IWC and NewsMail's ice information session on Wednesday, which showed there was a need to raise awareness throughout Bundaberg.

The IWC and Bundaberg NewsMail are teaming up with the community to launch a forum around ice - one of the deadliest drugs ever to threaten people right across our region.

Church of Christ Bundaberg member Ray Ward said by attending the session he hoped to learn who to deal with people who were in need of help and drug affected.

"I'm here to help me recognise what the drug is and how it affects people," Mr Ward said.

"Over the last few years, I've seen an increase of people coming through our doors.

"I think it's a big problem here, especially with Bundy having lower incomes."

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RV59KXZ

It wasn't just community workers who attended the session; retired Bundaberg man Ron McNish said he knew very little about the effects of the drug.

"I've come to learn and I don't think many people out there, including myself, realise the problem we have here," he said.

"I'm glad to see something is going to be done."

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett also attended the information-filled event and said the insidious drug was taking a grip on the nation, and clearly the Bundaberg region is no exception.

"Our growing ice epidemic and the devastating impact it is having on our community is extremely concerning," he said.

"A holistic and collaborative response is needed to address the scourge of ice and by our community starting an honest conversation; it's an important step in the right direction."

He believed the issue should not rest solely on the shoulders of law enforcement to tackle.

"We need to instead treat it as a very serious health issue and turn our attention to implementing a community approach focussing on prevention and treatment," Mr Bennett said.

"Those on the frontline of the ice epidemic are crying out for more support for outreach and early intervention and other initiatives."

Mr Bennett welcomed the initiative to host information sessions and the online survey, which has been designed to shine a light on just how big of an issue it is within our community.



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