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North-West Regional Youth Expo guest speaker Garrison Lewandowski.

Help on offer to deal with drugs, grog

By CAITLIN HEATHCOTE | The Adovcate | April 10, 2014, 8 a.m.

YOUNG people were exposed to the stark reality of how destructive drugs and alcohol can be in people's lives when they attended the North-West Regional Youth Expo yesterday.

The expo was part of National Youth Week and the 700 grade 9 students who filtered through the doors of the Ulverstone Civic Centre heard the story of former Coaster Garrison Lewandowski.

Mr Lewandowski told students how a move to Mowbray in his youth, his subsequent schooling and bullying began his downward spiral into drug abuse.

He ended up with a $1000 a day methamphetamine habit.

The expo has been held at Ulverstone for the past five years and Devonport City Council community sustainability co-ordinator Damian Collins said it was a good example of what could be achieved when the Coast's councils worked together.

Mr Collins said the aim was not to bombard young people with any specific counselling but rather give them a taste of the services on offer.

About 15 stallholders were at the expo to engage the young people and expose them to a range of services.

Services at the expo included the Junction (Headspace Devonport), Red Cross and the Youth, Family and Community Connections.

"We just really want to open their eyes to the services...they might not need them yet but they might need them in the future," Mr Collins said.

"It gives them somewhere to go and check these things out in a non- judgmental environment."

National Youth Week runs from April 4-13. For more information check out www.youthweek.com

Courtesy of The Adovcate

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