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© Joe Roe. The Aboriginal Inner Spirit Model (Ngarlu Assessment Model) was developed by Joseph 'Nipper' Roe, who belonged to the Karajarri and Yawuru people.

Drugs that affect our brain can change the way we thinkfeel and behave. These drugs are known as psychoactive drugs. These drugs can cause physical and psychological changes.

People use drugs for a lot of different reasons.

Usually it is because they like the feelings that they get or because drugs help them manage feelings that they don’t want to have. Sometimes people take drugs to try out the drug or because they want to feel like they are part of the group.

Some people take drugs to help cope with their everyday problems, but sometimes that can make their problems worse.

Being dependent on drugs can vary from a mild urge to use to out-of-control urges.

People who become dependent on a drug may become tolerant to that drug. This means they need to use more and more of the drug to get the same effect or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
When people are dependent they believe they have to use the drug to do certain things or feel a certain way.

When someone is dependent their body has changed. If they suddenly stop taking the drug they may experience really unpleasant symptoms. Sometimes this can be life threatening. This is called withdrawal and can include feeling really sad or angry, or physical symptoms like vomiting, fits and cramps.

When someone is dependent on a drug they may begin to behave in unexpected ways – this can be very difficult for their family and community to manage.

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Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro is held between 29 March and 9 April. Find out more about the Pro here.