NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Johnathon Thurston joins Apunipima’s anti-ice campaign

 

Anti-ice campaign ACYHC

Don’t let ice put your life on the rocks – give it the boot.”

“Ice isn’t deadly, it’s fatal and can destroy our mob. On the footy field I kick goals in life and by joining this campaign, I hope to do my bit for Indigenous communities and help them kick ice out of their life,”

Johnathan Thurston: rugby league footballer with the North Queensland Cowboys

One of Australia’s coolest rugby league stars has added his voice to Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s anti-ice campaign.

Apunipima launched its social media campaign on the potent drug in April this year to help tackle the issue of ice in Cape York communities, and to help bring awareness of what ice can do to individuals, families, friends and communities.

Johnathan Thurston, an Australian professional rugby league footballer with the North Queensland Cowboys, supported the campaign in an effort to help stop the ice epidemic.

Of Indigenous Australian descent, Thurston will feature on a poster with a key message about ice. The poster has information on where to get help if you or someone you know is using the drug.

Thurston said: “Don’t let ice put your life on the rocks – give it the boot.”

“Ice isn’t deadly, it’s fatal and can destroy our mob. On the footy field I kick goals in life and by joining this campaign, I hope to do my bit for Indigenous communities and help them kick ice out of their life,” Thurston said.

Thurston has joined three well-known public figures in Apunipima’s fight to help tackle ice in Cape York. These are Intrust Super Cup rugby league player Davin Crampton (Tweed Heads Seagulls), CQUniversity Cairns Taipan Kerry Williams and hip-hop group The Last Kinection (featuring Naomi Wenitong) to help spread the message and “Say No to Ice”.

Each of the four celebrities feature in a poster. The posters have been created specifically for the campaign and will be used intermittently on Twitter and Facebook.

Ice can be called “shabu”, “glass”, or “crystal meth” and is the purest form of “speed”, from the methamphetamine family of drugs. It looks like small white (or blue) crystals and can be smoked, injected, or even eaten.
Apunipima Public Health Medical Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong said the campaign targeted youth and adults. He said it is known that ice is in communities and is easy to buy in places like Cape York, Weipa, Cooktown and Cairns.

Dr Wenitong said it was vital to create awareness about the drug to tackle the issue.

“We want our people to have lives of hope and ice is crushing hope out of young people and families,” Dr Wenitong said.

“We have enough problems in the Cape just with mortality and morbidity associated with chronic disease, and when you add ice to the list, it’s very scary.

“Some people take this drug for fun and while it has feel-good properties, it’s bad for your body and mind and that’s how people get easily hooked. It will make things worse for you.

“It causes an intense high and is easily addictive,” he said. “Users think it’s cheap because it doesn’t cost too much at first, but once you are hooked the price goes up.”

Need help or worried about your friend? Or want more information? Go to your local health clinic or see your local Health Worker. For anonymous support contact Kids Helpline 1800 55 18001800 55 1800 FREE or the Alcohol and Drug Info Service on 1800 177 8331800 177 833 FREE

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