Communities helping to fight ice

Wodonga Council has been awarded $10,000 for a primary prevention-focussed, community ice action grant from the Victorian Government.

Wodonga was among 14 community groups across Victoria to receive funding to help tackle the devastating effects of ice use and addiction.

The Wodonga Local Drug Action Team’s Community Ice Action Plan informed much of the grant application.

The Wodonga LDAT will be partnering with Peer Support Australia to deliver a Peer Support Program at a local shcool.

This program has the potential to divert students away from drug misuse by providing them with positive role models and also combatting social isolation.

Wodonga Council’s Manager Community Planning and Wellbeing, Claire Taylor said funding would be used to train teachers to deliver the peer-to-peer support program.

This program will train those entering year nine to be peer leaders.

Peer leaders will then work with incoming year sevens and deliver up to eight modules throughout the year, focussing on building resiliency, instilling values, and strengthening our connections.

Ms Taylor said one of the outcomes of the project would be to see teachers and student leaders who are equipped and empowered to influence their students/peers in a positive way.

Ms Taylor said while data on the use of methamphetamines in Wodonga is difficult to get due to the illegal nature of the drug, stakeholders identified methamphetamines as the area of most concern due to the devastating impact it has on individuals, families, and the wider community.

Ms Taylor said the program takes action to tackle the issue upstream, looking at why some are at risk of problematic drug use to begin with.

“Social isolation and the normalisation of drug use have been identified as drivers for increased drug use, so this program will work to strengthen our youth’s social connectedness and form positive peer relationships,” she said.