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Drug Action Week to Highlight Effects of Alcohol

Several events are being organized to increase awareness of the effects of alcohol during the drug action week. In East Kimberley the dangers of drinking// are being highlighted as part of drug action week.

The role of alcohol in several fetal alcohol spectrum disorders that cause physical and mental disabilities in children will be stressed during these events. The organizers believe the incidence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Kimberley is as high as one in five.

As child health nurse Leanne Crough says, ‘Drinking alcohol in pregnancy damages babies' brains. What we're trying to do is get the message out is that if you are pregnant, you are trying to get pregnant, do not drink alcohol.’

In Wheatbelt the 'Enough is Enough' program of the drug action week is highlighting the effects of drunkenness on the community.

The Wheatbelt police, the Wheatbelt Community Drug Service Team and the Wheatbelt Public Health Unit have combined efforts to get the message of the program across the community.

Wheatbelt police Superintendent Dick Milne said, ‘Alcohol and drug abuse are of significant concern to the police and wider community. Both are recognized as underlying issues in domestic violence, anti-social behavior and road trauma.’

He pointed out that a great deal of police work revolves around alcohol and drug abuse.

‘There comes a time when enough is enough. Any program that focuses on the reduction of the normalization of drunkenness and drug abuse and its subsequent anti-social behavior and violence has the full support of the police.’

Janice Leafe from the Wheatbelt Community Drug Service team said, ‘Broken windows, graffiti, bent road signs and property damage are all the result of excessive alcohol consumption. And in small communities especially, drunken anti-social behaviour can make a hotel less acceptable as a community venue.’

Wheatbelt has several community forums to raise awareness of how communities can handle this problem. It has been estimated that alcohol abuse has resulted in a cost of nearly $5.5 million each year to health services in the Wheatbelt.
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