A COLAC theatre show and panel will help tackle community and youth alcohol issues.
Westvic Staffing Solutions Foundation has funded an $8000 event which Colac Secondary College and Colac Area Health will host next year addressing drug and alcohol misuse.
CAH rural outreach diversions worker Jodie Roberts and CSC nurse Jo Simms have spearheaded the event which will feature Melbourne production Cheap Thrills, a play that aims to make people think about the issues.
“Westvic are committed, as are CAH drug and alcohol and CSC, in opening the discussion around alcohol and drug misuse – and encouraging a space where we can start a conversation around the risks and consequences around alcohol misuse in our community,” Ms Roberts said.
“Cheap Thrills is a production that looks at issues like risk taking, substance abuse, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, safe partying, choices, and consequences,” she said.
Ms Roberts said a National Drug Strategy Survey showed 20 per cent of 14 to 19-year-olds drank alcohol weekly.
“So this performance is about engaging students and to get them thinking about alcohol and some of the consequences, especially the dangers of binge drinking,” Ms Roberts said.
Ms Roberts said the performance would be in late-July next year for Year Nine and Year 10 students from CSC, Trinity College Colac, Apollo Bay P-12 College and Lavers Hill P-12 College.
“There will also be a night-time performance for parents and the community to attend, so that we can open up the discussion about alcohol misuse,” Ms Roberts said.
“There will also be an expert panel of alcohol and drug clinicians from Colac Area Health, mental health workers and police that the community can direct questions to,” she said.
Ms Simms said it was important to approach alcohol and drug issues from a community perspective.
“We think alcohol misuse is a community issue and we wanted it to be a fun evening for young people and their families – and to have the opportunity to introduce the issues in a fun and interactive way through the performance,” Ms Simms said.
“I think there’s no simple solution to a complex issue – but it will affect some young people’s decision making and inform some families on ways to deal with the issue of alcohol and young people,” she said.