Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform
committed to preventing tragedy that arises from illicit drug use
|What can I do to help?|
Actions you can take to reduce the tragedy
This page has been prepared to respond to the question "what can I do that will help to reduce the tragedy that arises from illicit drug use?" It contains a list of suggestions from which a choice, depending upon areas of interest, can be made.
It is important that you yourself become informed. There are a number of publications available from the Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform and the group can provide a list of references. Of those on the list the better ones are:
Tell your personal story
If you have been affected by a tragedy for heroin use then telling your personal story can help. Personal stories are being collected by the Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform to be used in the debate to benefit the case for drug law reform.
The Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform would appreciate you telling your personal story on how drug use has affected your family. The group realises that it is sometimes difficult but it believes that our community needs to know the extent of the problem as it personally affects people's lives.
The group believes there is a need to change the stereotyping which is placed on those who use drugs. Drug users are often thought of as criminals, coming from dysfunctional families, no-hopers, outcastes. We as families and friends know that this is not true. We want to change this stereotyping. Your personal story will help. You need not put your name to your story - confidentially will be assured.
Take every opportunity to correct any misinformation
If someone is presenting a point of view at a meeting, luncheon or party etc and that point of view is incorrect, take the opportunity to point out that it is incorrect and state what the facts really are. To do this you will need to be informed on the subject (see above - Inform yourself). You may also need to develop some skills in presenting your argument. See the group's leaflets on "Frequently Asked Questions".
The same applies to media reports, articles, 'letters to the editor' or features. Take the opportunity to respond if it is in error or is biased or not well balanced. See our leaflet on "Writing Letters to the Editor.
Use non pejorative language
The language that we use indicates our feeling or lack of feeling in this area. Try to use words and phrases that are not derogatory. For example use "dependant user" rather than "junkie", "druggie", "drug addict".
Write to your member of parliament
Your member of parliament may be sympathetic to your cause but may need to have some indication of the community's views on the subject. If you write to him/her you will be providing an indication of at least one member of the community's views.
It may also be that your member of parliament is not aware of the issues. Your letter will help him/her understand what the issues are and perhaps help persuade him/her to adopt and fight for your views.
Write to the press
Write letters to the editor, not only in response to what others may have written but to put your point of view.
Write feature articles.
Write and ask the paper to prepare a feature article and offer to provide the supporting material.
If this is your forte then take every opportunity to speak to the subject. You could even seek out opportunities yourself from the range of community support clubs to political forums.
Make a donation to the group. While the group is made up of volunteers it could always use donations to help pay for some of the administrative costs such as postage for the notification of agenda and minutes to members, for telephone calls, printing and photocopying.
Join the group
group will indicate your support and it will help you keep up to date with