A report on the level of need for youth alcohol and other drug abuse support services in the Tweed Shire will be launched in Murwillumbah later this month.

The 88-page report, ‘Building New Ways’, is a needs analysis for youth alcohol and other drug services in the Tweed Shire.

The report was commissioned by Tweed Shire Council on behalf on the Tweed Youth Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Working Party.

“The report found there was consistent feedback from stakeholders that immediate action was necessary to delay the start of youth AOD use and reduce the associated negative effects,” the council said.

“Service providers generally felt that the Tweed Shire had a significant youth AOD use issue, however, the report does not suggest that all – or even a majority – of young people in the Tweed Shire use AOD in a harmful way.

“A survey of 649 young people on the Tweed under the age of 18 found that alcohol was by far the most common substance used and led to the greatest level of harm, while cannabis was the most common illicit substance used.

“The report concludes that ‘the consequences of not addressing youth AOD use and related harms will inevitably continue to increase the negative health, economic and social ramifications on individuals and the wider community’.”

Council’s Youth Development Officer Margaret Strong said: “It is important to gain whole-of-government and community support for the report’s recommendations to address these pressing issues.”

The launch is at the auditorium of the Murwillumbah Civic Centre from 9.30am-11am on Thursday, 26 February.