DRUG and alcohol abuse is a problem Orange will never get rid of, but an attempt to reform the Community Drug Action Team will at least acknowledge the ongoing issue, according to Cr Glenn Taylor.
When the action team was formed in June 2005, police, Orange City Council, government and non-government agencies, community volunteers, businesses and community service organisations joined forces to tackle the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse.
The program lapsed in early 2007.
But a push from the Canobolas Local Area Command to restart the initiative could see the team reform as a sub-committee of the Orange Youth Services Interagency.
Cr Taylor welcomed the move saying the agencies would be able to develop education programs as preventative and reactive measures.
“The [police] commander has indicated he’d like to see the emphasis on drug and alcohol abuse,” Cr Taylor said.
“Doing nothing is not an option.
“We do need a frank and open discussion about all sorts of substance abuse in this city.”
Drug and alcohol-free venues and events for young adults are seen as one way to tackle the problem but other activities could include community partnerships, forums and expos.
While Cr Taylor does not believe Orange’s problems with drugs and alcohol are any worse than other regional cities, he said it was up to the community to be proactive.
He said some weekend revellers were under the influence of drugs before they set foot into the town’s pubs and clubs.
“We have to stop this one-dimensional view in the city that all the problems are caused by hotels and late-night trading,” he said.
“A lot of it happens behind closed doors. There is an awful lot of takeaway alcohol sold in this city.”