Letters to the Editor
A BLUNT WARNING ABOUT CRYSTAL METH
I WRITE with a blunt warning.
Tragically crystal meth/ice is having a shocking impact on many suburbs and areas of Australia.
It is true to say now that in many parts of Australia, crystal meth/ice is now cheaper to buy than even a takeaway pizza. It is very disturbing.
I write to warn readers of this most dangerous drug and to highlight to readers that it is never worth dabbling with a drug like ice. It is so dangerous and so addictive.
Ice is tearing a massive number of families apart.
This sadly includes damage to a massive number of Indigenous communities.
In some communities, grandparents, parents and children are all using crystal meth.
There is a very big misconception in the community that alcohol is the big issue for Indigenous Australians.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Close to 100% of our clients have been impacted by ice and shock TV ads seem to be having no impact.
You can buy ice in many parts of the country for as little as $5.
We want to see governments everywhere developing rapid response teams to deal with a problem that has frankly got out of hand.
People aren't getting the help they need at the speed that is necessary. The answers lie in the development of rapid response teams.
The under-reporting of ice is at a huge level. This problem is much bigger than people realise.
People are being touched by ice everywhere. Young people are so vulnerable. One of the biggest issues is that crystal meth is so potent, it does not take much for people to become addicted.
People end up feeling like they are bullet proof and invincible.
This is just one of the dangers of this drug. We are asking governments everywhere to take action because of the scale of the problem.
I would also like to highlight, people can get more information about my organisation by visiting www.adac.org.au.
I would like to wish readers a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.
CEO Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council
MAKING STRIDES AGAINST STROKES
ON BEHALF of local stroke survivors and the Stroke Foundation, I would like to thank members of the community who got motivated and moving by taking part in Stride4stroke throughout November.
Not only did almost 650 participants lower their own stroke risk by taking on their own physical challenge, they raised vital funds for StrokeLine (1800 787 653), which is Australia's only dedicated national helpline for stroke survivors and their families.
I sincerely thank those who took part and the families, friends, colleagues and community members who backed their efforts.
I am excited to announce that with your support, we collectively clocked up more than 47,000km and raised almost $140,000 for StrokeLine.
These donations will enable Stroke Foundation to continue to provide this vital telephone support service when it is needed most.
Throughout November, I was thrilled to hear about the efforts of our 'Striders' right across the country. They walked, ran, swam and even lifted weights to raise awareness of stroke.
Sadly, there will be 56,000 strokes in Australia this year. That is one every nine minutes.
Stroke attacks the brain - the human control centre, changing lives in an instant. The impact of a stroke is felt well beyond the individual, with families lives also turned upside down by this devastating disease.
Most of this year's Striders know this story only too well after either suffering a stroke themselves or witnessing the impact of stroke on someone they care about.
But stroke's impact doesn't need to be this great. Around 80 per cent of strokes are preventable. We must turn the situation around for the better. We must work together to prevent, treat and beat stroke.
Looking after our own health is the first step. Physical inactivity is now the second highest risk factor for stroke behind high blood pressure, so it's time to follow the lead of our Striders and get moving. So this new year, make a commitment to your health - check fit, check lean and get checked (blood pressure), it could save your life.
While Stride4stroke is over for another year, you can still support the Stroke Foundation. A small donation will help us continue to make great strides in the fight against stroke. Visit www.stride4stroke.org.au
Stroke Foundation CEO
EACH year Christmas can be anything but joyful for our young people.
While you are enjoying your Christmas lunch, opening presents and spending time with loved ones, I ask that you spare a thought for those who will not experience the joy of Christmas this year.
For many, Christmas is a time to spend with family, in a safe home, exchanging gifts and recharging the batteries for the year ahead. But for many more, it is an unbearable reminder of everything they don't have.
Many of my young people won't wake up to presents under the tree, be given a delicious lunch, or be able to spend quality time with loved ones, but we are trying to fix that. At Youth Off The Streets we have been collecting food for hampers, as well as gift cards, so that our kids have the chance to receive a gift and delicious food to make a joyful Christmas a reality.
The gift of giving to our disadvantaged young Australians is more than just material presents and food. When I give our kids these gifts, I see their faces light up. They are so happy to be given something where before they had nothing, but most of all they are so happy to know someone cares about them and wants them to experience what Christmas is about - giving to those less fortunate.
This Christmas, if you have the means, consider donating a gift card or donating directly to a Charity that helps less fortunate people. It can brighten the day of someone that is constantly being reminded of what they don't have.
I hope you and your readers have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.
Father Chris Riley
CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets