‘Drug Abuse is as insidious as a deadly spider’s web …’
Drug abuse is as insidious as a deadly spider’s web. For children and young adults drug abuse often starts through experimentation with cigarettes and alcohol, then marijuana and ecstasy tablets. That young person then starts to be drawn further into the web of using drugs – often involving a dangerous mixture or cocktail of drugs – until their addiction becomes entrenched in their life. At this point the web becomes a prison, and the deadly spider can overcome their victim. The potential of an overdose – often a fatal overdose – in some lonely dark alleyway is now a very real possibility.
‘Community Drug Education’
Lions Clubs in Western Australia have always been interested in becoming involved in community drug education initiatives. As a result of this the Western Australian Drug Education Foundation (WALDEF) was formed with the following objectives.
– To promote an awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse.
– To develop primary prevention activities, especially in local communities in an “Awareness” Programme.
– To encourage and facilitate personal, social and community action in support of the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse.
– To participate in national campaigns in lion with the aim of the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation Inc.
– To become involved in the formation of partnerships with governmental health professionals, drug educational agencies and drug aware community groups (LDAG’s).
– To actively promote and support counselling and rehabilitation programmes.
The Western Australian Lions Drug Education Foundation (WALDEF) has the following future objectives.
– To encourage Lions in Western Australia to become actively involved in LDAG’s.
– To encourage participation in the School Drug Education Project and activities in schools.
– To develop a partnership with the Health Department and Education Department where programmes relate to drug awareness.
– To seek and promote suitable drug awareness resources for schools, parents and community agencies.
‘Try Hugs Not Drugs’
Many Lions and other people across Australia and the world have a badge, tee shirt or other article with this symbolic message emblazoned on it. This was a very successful project-promotion of WALDEF.
Other WALDEF successes include the “Drugs in Perspective” one-day workshops, mainly for Lions members and local educators, conducted in many parts of Western Australia.
The overall goal of these workshops was to provide participants with information about drug use and an opportunity to practice the skills required to plan and implement local activities designed to minimise the harm associated with drug use.
The stated objectives were:
– Increase participants knowledge of drug use and drug use problems;
– Increase participants confidence and competence to address local drug use problems;
– Discuss methods of drug education;
– Consider Lions and other community members roles in minimising the harm associated with drug use; and
– Motivate effective local community action by Lions and community members.
These objectives have since been adopted by other community groups and drug awareness education agencies in WA.
Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation
Local Drug Action Groups
Drug & Alcohol Office