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Monthly News Bulletin
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Back to 2002 News Archive

Lively anti-drugs debate at Ryan Centre

ANTI-DRUGS campaigners behind this week's successful Question-Time-style debate in Stranraer have vowed to continue the fightback against the area's drug problem.

Around 70 people attended the debate in Stranraer¹s Ryan Centre on Monday afternoon.

Speaking afterwards, Penny Halliday, from family support group You Are Not Alone, said that anti-drugs feeling was strong and the community fightback would continue.

"A lot of issues were discussed and I think everyone learned a lot. Even on the controversial issues like legalisation the debate never became heated," she said.

"The plan now is for community groups, such as the Chamber of Trade, community councils, victim support and voluntary groups, all to unite to form a group which will hopefully be able to influence the issue."

She added:

"This is too good to let go and it is important that we show people that we do not just talk about things and then let it go."

Stranraer Against Drugs' Raymond Carvill added that he, too, was pleased at the way the event had gone. A sign of the growing respect with which his group are viewed was the wide cross-section of society who turned out from the region's police, education and public health chiefs, to MSPs and anti-drugs campaigners, to former and current heroin users.

All contributed to a lively debate which, deftly marshalled by chairman Alastair Geddes, never once threatened to boil out of control. The platform party were joined by two senior Stranraer Academy pupils, Karen Ramsey and Stephen Ross, and a large group of their fellow students listened intently in the audience.

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