PEOPLE who profit from substance abuse will always find a way around laws, according to Bendigo Community Health chief executive Kim Sykes.
Speaking of the availability of bongs from a Bendigo retailer despite the products being banned, Ms Sykes said people who sold such products were “creative”.
“I believe that people who are invested in drug use will always find another drug or a more creative way to do it,” she said.
“Each time a door’s closed, people find a more creative way of opening up that drug use.”
Ms Sykes said cannabis and alcohol were the two most common drugs people sought help for.
“We run a very significant alcohol and other drugs service, including counselling and short term residential services,” she said.
“Alcohol and cannabis are the most common drugs people are using when they come to us for assistance.
“Any drug can have a harmful impact and indeed some people are far more sensitive to some drugs.”
Youth Support and Advocacy Support Service manager Kerry Donaldson said bong sales could “normalise” cannabis use for young people.
“It probably gives permission to some degree,” she said.
“If people think it’s legal to purchase apparatus to smoke drugs out of it becomes less stigmatised.”
But Ms Donaldson said the ban on bong sales had had another effect.
“People ultimately make bongs out of all items,” she said.
“Smoking out of plastic is more hazardous."