Plan to reduce alcohol harm

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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The Port Hedland Alcohol and Other Drug Management Plan Working Group is urging the public to comment on its draft plan for 2018-20.

Created every two years, the plan outlines initiatives and strategies aimed at reducing the harms associated with alcohol and other drug use in the Hedland community.

This month, the working group will hold information sessions, stalls and forums seeking community feedback on the proposed plan, and host online surveys and social media polling.

Collectively working together to reduce alcohol and other drug use harm since 2013, the working group comprises 25 support services and agencies in the area, including Bloodwood Tree, Mission Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute.

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After evaluation and review of the 2014-16 plan, four areas were identified as priority areas needing action: changing the culture/normalisation of alcohol use in Port/South Hedland; addressing the impact of alcohol on families and young people; reducing alcohol related violence in Port/South Hedland; and addressing needle syringe disposal issues and raising awareness of local needle and syringe programs.

Working group chairwoman Kelly Howlett said the plan was a whole-community initiative which had a strong theme of addressing the culture surrounding alcohol.

“A lot of it is around perception and making sure it is understood and getting a wider appreciation that it is a whole-community issue and it isn’t just certain people in the community,” she said.

“If people are more informed then they’re better equipped to make healthier decisions ... it’s never too much to be repeating messages.

“It’s worked quite well with tobacco and it’s about making sure people understand the health impacts of excessive drinking.”

For more information, contact Bloodwood Tree on 9138 3006 or email daadmin@bloodwoodtree.org.au.

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