Community effort to fight drugs

THE latest weapon in the fight against legal and illegal drugs on the Tweed will aim to unite the local community in a battle to understand drug issues. This weekend a drive will begin to find members for a Community Drug Action Team (CDAT), which will meet regularly to tackle drug-related concerns within the area. The team will identify local drug issues and the way they can be worked upon as well as educate the public. Steering committee member Kerry Bayfield said the success of the team relied on community participation. "This really is all about community action and so we are urging anyone to come along to our launch on Saturday night and be involved," she said. "People don't have to be directly affected to be affected by drugs, for instance a grandmother too scared to go out at night is still affected by the problem." CDATs was formed as part of the NSW Government plan of ac- tion, which arose from a drug summit. They fill a variety of roles depending on the area's needs. Ms Bayfield said they had not cemented exactly how the local CDAT will tackle drug problems. "Initially we want to work out what the issues are and how we will operate. It is about the community and working together." A survey by the steering committee recently found there was support for the set-up of such a team and that people already had tactical ideas. "More than 50 per cent of respondents identified that training young people in how to say no was a top priority," Ms Bayfield said. "A further 45 per cent indicated that healthy recreational opportunities for young people, including drug and alcohol free entertainment, was a priority." Residents have the chance to learn more about CDAT and join up at its launch at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre on Saturday night. Doors open 7pm.

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