We should work as a village to address addiction issues

ICE may not have been the drug of choice in the early 90s but the menace of addiction in regional Queensland was already making headlines.

Former Chronicle editor Nancy Bates recalls sitting down with a group of newspaper editors and agreeing the growing drugs problem was a health issue that would never be solved with criminal laws.

Now, 25 years on, she says "we are still persisting with absurd and ineffective methods".

She believes its time the community worked together to fix the problem at its source rather than leaving it to the courts.

"Communities need be courageous and to take a bold new approach solving their own problems with drugs and the linked challenges of welfare and unemployment," Ms Bates said.

"We all wring our hands at the ugly culture around our streets and worry about drug-related crime. We point our fingers at police, politicians and the justice system and ask why they can't 'fix it' but we never see the mess as a responsibility for the whole community to solve.

"An old African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, our Fraser Coast village is not doing a great job of raising its kids when so many of them are drifting to the dark side. Fixing it is the responsibility of everyone who forms our community.

"We should be strong enough to demand more realistic tactics."

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