Stepping Stones to Success comes to Bendigo

HELP is on hand for families impacted by drug and alcohol abuse.

Family Drug Support will bring its award winning program Stepping Stones to Success to Bendigo on June 14 and 15 and June 21 and 22.

Course participants must be available on both weekends.

The event is sponsored by City of Greater Bendigo and will be at Scope in Bennett Street.

Event spokesman Michael Miller said the course aimed to increase people's confidence and ability to manage drug issues.

ICE: Help is on hand for drug users and their families.

ICE: Help is on hand for drug users and their families.

Mr Millar said participants would learn reality-based approaches including self-care and the valuing of self.  

"I have seen the enormous difference from when people enter the course and when they leave," he said.

"They are stronger, better supported and have taken on skills and created strategies and put workable boundaries in place to better manage their relationship with the person using. 

"This will in turn help the person using towards better outcomes."

Mr Millar said the course did not focus on any particular drugs, although ice addiction was a common theme at previous courses.

The drug ice has spread to every level of society in country Victoria, says a drug agency that is about to report on the problem to the state government.

''Every part of the population [is being affected], from white-collar professionals to amateur football team members, to blue-collar workers and manual labourers. It's really across the board,'' said John Ryan, chief executive of the Penington Institute, which is about to present its findings to the Victorian government on the prevalence of methamphetamine, known as ice.

''That's why it's affecting small towns so much; it's not affecting one small part of the population, it's widespread,'' Mr Ryan said.

Last week, more than 700 people went to an ice forum in Kerang, while the week before about half of the population of nearby Cohuna turned out to its forum.

Mr Ryan said this ''exposes what hunger there is'' for better information for country Victorian families that are crying out for help.

For more information about the Stepping Stones to Success program email michael@fds.ngo.org.au

- with The Age

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