Support services and parameters were outlined and an overview of the four categories of drugs given – Stimulants, Depressants, Hallucinogens and Others (chemicals that have more than one effect on the Central Nervous System). Legal, illegal and prescription examples were given for each category. Reasons for why people take drugs were explained and it was highlighted that drugs affect each individual differently. A number of drugs were discussed including Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Cannabis and Alcohol. Other names such as Mary Jane (cannabis) and Charlie (cocaine) were also referred to.
Speaker Matthew Bejger, from Holyoake, kept his audience captivated with not only the content but also his learned experience as a counsellor. The excellent diagrams, examples and analogies assisted those present to grasp and understand the issues including dependency and the chase of the drug. This was further supported by fellow Holyoake counsellor Karen Gow and Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Officer Eloise Fewster. Local police sergeant Alby Van Den Berg added relevant information from a police and local perspective.
The presentation and ensuing discussion on methamphetamines was very interesting and created concern however it was reinforced that the major drug issues locally and across Australia are, by far, still alcohol and cannabis related.
Understanding what is involved in dependency, how neurotransmitter receptors became dysfunctional and don’t allow happiness to be felt by the user and that it can take up to two years of non-use for these to become functional again gave some clarity to the cycle involved and the complexity of the situation.
It was noted that Holyoake support not only drug and alcohol users, but also support significant others (family and friends). Formal referrals are not required and can be via a family member, friend or even self-referral.
Holyoake information, contacts, referral forms and brochures are available on the resource stand near the computers at the Dumbleyung CRC. Drug and Alcohol Counselling through Holyoake is available locally, but can also be at neighbouring centres or in Narrogin if the client prefers. Holyoake can be contacted via phone 9881 1999 or email email@example.com.
Sergeant Alby Van Den Berg is also available to discuss concerns and can be contacted via the Dumbleyung Police Station.