Breaking the ice: Bega High students share knowledge gained at community drug forum

Kerri-Ann Perry and Rhiannon Chapman attended the Eden Ice Forum recently to learn about supporting people on the drug ice.
Kerri-Ann Perry and Rhiannon Chapman attended the Eden Ice Forum recently to learn about supporting people on the drug ice.

TWO Bega High School students have said they know teenagers in the Valley who have tried the drug ice.

Kerri-Ann Perry and Rhiannon Chapman said they thought the teens tried the drug because of peer pressure, but none of them became addicted.

However, if there are school-aged children trying ice in the Bega Valley, there must be drug dealers willing to sell them the substance.

“It’s so sad,” Rhiannon reflected.

The two Year 10 girls represented their school at the Eden Ice Forum on Thursday, July 23, which was held for the community to learn how to help people who take drugs, hear from experts and get confidential advice or support.

The girls chose to attend the forum as they know family members who have taken ice and wanted to learn how to help them.

One of the girls had seen a relative on ice before, which was “really scary”.

She said their relative was definitely not themselves when taking the drug, and she had felt sorry for her relative’s children.

Both Kerri-Ann and Rhiannon thought there should be a forum on ice in schools, to teach students about the dangers of the drug.

They are thinking about holding a school assembly to talk about what they learnt at the forum, but in the meantime have been sharing their new knowledge with their classmates.

The girls said most students they talked to did not know what ice does to you.

At the forum they also learnt about ways to help people addicted to other drugs and in domestic violence situations.

Rhiannon said if kids are in a house where there is domestic violence or see their parents take drugs, they can become traumatised so should be taken out of those situations.

Other topics raised at the forum included the different ways to take ice, what it is made of, and ideas the community could come up with to help get rid of the drug.

Kerri-Ann had a take-home message for any of her peers interested in trying ice.

“Is it really worth it?” she said.

“You could lose all your family and friends, and lose yourself.

“If you know anyone on ice, go to the services that are there for support.

“Just don’t be scared to ask for help.”

The Eden Ice Forum was organised by Wandarma Drug and Alcohol Service in conjunction with Katungal Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Service.