Dr Penny Egan Vine of the National Association of Loss and Grief (NALAG) Victoria has warned of an increase in alcohol abuse by young people in the region.
Speaking at the opening of an exhibition on drugs at the Library Museum complex, Dr. Egan Vine said “…children as young as 15 were drinking heavily and “shots’’ were becoming a serious problem”.
She also said “there were also those who had reached the point that they needed alcohol to feel good”.
Dr Egan Vine’s comments come as the Albury Wodonga Community drug and alcohol action team (of which Dr. Egan Vine is a member) is set to bring about a new initiative including a brochure listing available services for within the Albury Wodonga area, the initiative targets not only people who might be suffering from drug and alcohol issues but also concerned family and friends.
The announcement comes following repeated calls for a government funded full time drug and alcohol treatment centre in North East Victoria.
The financially burdened and privately operated Odyessy house programme faces an uncertain future unless sponsorship money can be found in the near future.
This comes after repeated claims from then Victorian Health Minister Bronwyn Pike that Northeast Victoria did “not need” a drug and alcohol treatment programme. Current Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews has yet to be drawn on the issue.
In NSW our nearest residential point of referral is Calvary in Wagga, in Victoria, Odyessy house in Benalla.