On May 20th, 2015 a group of concerned community leaders gathered at the Kyabram Community Learning Centre. A number of community service providers were represented, including local government personal, school teachers, local police, drug counsellors and faith based programs including myself representing Teen Challenge Victoria. The discussion point was the reality that we have a crisis impacting the community.
The use of the Amphetamine drug commonly known as ICE has reached epidemic proportions. The Federal and State governments are responding to this with the set up of ICE task forces throughout the country. Our meeting was to develop a strategy and ask ourselves the question, “what can we do to change this situation and take a stand against this epidemic growing and devastating more families?” We hear news reports daily of the impact of ICE on the community with family violence incidents, we see graphic footage of young people attacking Police officers and Paramedics that have been called to intervene.
There was quite a bit of discussion about the local problem and stories of affected youth, discussion about ICE forums previously held at local schools etc. The suggestion to ramp up the education of school children as to the dangers of drug use etc. The idea of more policing and harsher penalties for those caught trafficking, ALL of these things are part of approaching the issue. Earlier this year I read a comment from a senior police commissioner, “This drug epidemic is out of control, and its going to take a genius to stop it.”
I believe that the genius that is needed to stop this epidemic in the medium to long term is all of us. The genius lives within all of us who are believers, and we can use the wisdom that comes from him to put into place strategies that have a greater chance to fill the hearts and minds of our children with faith , hope and love. Feelings of rejection in a human heart can be
the seeds of an addiction. My strong conviction based on years of interacting with people struggling with addiction is that the greatest power to change hearts is love and acceptance. When a human heart, made in the image of God, lives in an atmosphere of genuine love, acceptance and affirmation with words and actions reinforcing their belief system that you
think they are the greatest treasure on earth, the desire or need to look in other places for feel good substitutes diminishes.
We strive at Teen Challenge to create such a culture, a loving , accepting, encouraging community that projects dignity and grace to all who come for help. You can be part of the answer by providing such an environment in your own homes. Its up to each one of us to let the genius power of love bring inner health and resilience to those who dwell with us. Reduce the demand for drugs by Husbands loving their wives and children , taking the lead to be the love leader in the home. You can learn more about that at www.fatherhoodfoundation.org You can also make a difference in helping Teen Challenge continue the work of rescuing people and giving them a second chance.
Please consider us at this time of year with a Tax Deductible gift of $100.00 to help Teen Challenge Victoria rescue more young people from the ravages of this ICE epidemic. Your contribution wont change the whole world, but it will help change someone’s whole world.