‘Drug Wars’ starts this week, a 12-month campaign by the Drug Advice Service and Helpline (DASH) to raise awareness about drugs, starting with mephedrone.
Each part of the campaign is based on an episode of Star Wars, and in view of the continued use and dealing of mephedrone on the island, the first is launched this week.
A street collection in the Strand Shopping Centre this Saturday from 10am aims to raise funds for the charity, and offer the chance to meet Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers who arrive at 2pm.
‘This is a change from our usual type of awareness campaign, and whilst being more light-hearted, is still a serious issue that we have to get through to the community in any way we can,’ said director for the service, Shelly Stanley.
‘It will be a fun day and we’d encourage people to pop down and see us and maybe get their photo taken with Darth.
‘The “Drug Wars” title is aimed at starting discussion as to what drug problems mean locally and further afield.
‘The “war on drugs” continues to be debated globally at the moment and what happens elsewhere will have an impact on the drug situation in the island, whether that be the classification of drugs, or the likely change in trends of drug use.’
Ms Stanley said that parents needed to educate and talk to their children about drugs, before someone else does.
‘For some families we work with, it can indeed be a war against drugs in their own home as they battle against drug-using children or partners, likewise for children of substance-using parents.
‘It is not uncommon for parents or other family members to be subject to theft, violence and threatening behaviour due to drug use, and it is important they are aware that a confidential service like ours can help.’
She went on to explain that ‘The Plant Food Menace’ posters and leaflets were being distributed across the island and that there would be updates on the DASH website and its Facebook and Youtube pages.
‘Obviously, the “man” himself who went to the dark side then came good wanted to be involved.
‘So we are very pleased Darth Vadar and the Storm Troopers wanted to help the “Episode 1” launch,’ she said.
‘Our concern at the moment is the continued use of mephedrone and other stimulant type drugs and the lack of understanding of risks by those using it.’
Mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes.
For confidential information about drugs or help stopping, telephone DASH on 615622 or email email@example.com or visit the DASH website or Facebook page – www.drugs.org.im or www.facebook.com/dash.iom