THE community needs to shift its definition of normal in terms of drug and alcohol use and realise the prevalent issue falls on the entire community, says a Bendigo organisation.
Bendigo Community Health Services chief executive Kim Sykes said recent crime statistics, which revealed a 107 per cent increase in drug arrests in the region this year, reinforced the intensity of the issue in the region.
She said people should reflect on their use and possible abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
"It highlights that we wont find a solution to this issue until we embrace it as a community problem," she said.
"We need to recognise social pressures and how drugs and alcohol can control us. It's also important to get immediate help for those loved ones who are dealing with this issue too."
She said several organisations had begun to educate the community, which was a vital step towards a solution.
"While we can reflect honestly about our and others' behaviour, it's important to realise it is not a sign of failure if you are struggling with drugs."