‘Kids Around 10, They’re Drinking:’ Documentary Tackles Drug Dependence in Normanton

Alcohol and drug dependence is killing people in the remote Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria town of Normanton, according to local residents.

Long-time resident Neville Owens said as a child he never saw drugs, but now it surrounded him.

“I lost a son, second-oldest boy. He’d been on the drug and he commit suicide in our house which we bought,” Mr Owens said.

“It’s a shame to see.”

And Mr Owens said the issue was not just impacting adults.

Desperate for change, Mr Owens and a small group of locals have been working alongside the Queensland Police Service to tackle the issue.

Together, they have launched a video documentary called My Story, where five community members have shared their personal experiences with drug and alcohol use, including crystal methamphetamine, and pleaded with others to avoid it.

drug dependence documentary normanton
Photo: article supplied

Using policing skills for film-making

Sergeant Cath Purcell said it was an idea that came from within the community.

“It was really instigated by the Normanton community. This is something that they really wanted to do,” she said.

Sergeant Cath Purcell said it was an idea that came from within the community.

“It was really instigated by the Normanton community. This is something that they really wanted to do,” she said.

“When they asked for a bit of assistance, there were a few of us with some talents in video production and interviewing and different things, and we really wanted to help out so we ended up volunteering to come forward.”

Sergeant Purcell, Senior Constable Phil Newton, and Constable Tom Ayling travelled from Mount Isa and volunteered their time to help make the film.

For the officers, it has been an opportunity to use their interview skills to talk about drug abuse beyond the crime side of things.

“We usually only see things from our end, at the arrest stage when we’re interviewing someone for the purposes of what we need to do from that evidentiary perspective,” Sergeant Purcell.

“But more so, that we know that we were participating in something bigger and that you know others would get to share this, maybe that message is going to help someone and not take that path.”

This article was originally published by ABC.net.au.

Click here to read the entire article.

SHARE THIS

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE COMMENT