“People use drugs for many different reasons and drugs affect the way we think, feel  and see things around us. They can affect our body and mind and weaken our spirit”

Depressants – these drugs  slow your body and your mind down, these drugs include alcohol, heroin, benzo’s and Yukiri (gunja).

Stimulants – these drugs speed up your thoughts and thinking and your heart and body. These drugs include ICE (Yabu), energy drinks like V and redbull, nicotine (found in tobacco), coffee, ecstasy and cocaine.

Hallucinogens – these drugs can make you see or hear things that are not there, These drugs can be dangerous and people may feel very strange on them, these drugs include magic mushrooms and acid.

Some people mix drugs like use Yabu and drink alcohol, or smoke Gunja and use Yabu. Mixing drugs is dangerous and can make you feel very sick or have a problem with your heart and breathing.

ALL drugs are dangerous and can even lead to death!

Signs of a problem

  • Do you find you need to use more of the drug to get the same effect?
  • Do you start looking for the drug most days and get upset, angry or sick if you don’t have it?

You could be ‘dependent’ or addicted to the drug and you may need some help.

Drugs can affect not only yourself and your health but also affect your families and children.

Drugs can also affect you financially – all your money is being spent on drugs, and you  might lose your job or have no money for Mirrka or power card. Your relationship could suffer, fighting with your partner a lot, and you may be feeling angry or arguing with family and community.

If you think drugs may be affecting your life and you are wanting to cut back and or stop, there is help. Talk to your local alcohol and drug worker or a nurse or doctor who will put you in touch with someone who can help. 

  • If you are using needles – Do not ever share your needle with anybody else and do not use anyone else’s needle – even if you don’t have another needle. You can catch a Blood Borne Virus (like Hepatitis C or HIV which can make you very pika!).

Its important not to draw back from spoons others have used because this can still pass on blood borne virus infections.

Use clean equipment every shot!

(Peer Based Harm Reduction WA – www.harmreduction.org.au for further information)

  • Don’t mix your drugs.
  • Change your bong water regularly to avoid chest infections and other nasty bacteria.
  • Try to not use tobacco in your spin or mix, it increases the amount of tar in your lungs and causes dependance on nicotine (makes you need tjikirrpa).
  • If you are pregnant the safest option is to not smoke Gunja this isn’t healthy for the baby and could affect the baby’s development. If we use drugs when pregnant the baby does to!
  • If you are worried about someone having a bad experience from drugs don’t leave them alone. Try to keep them calm, give them fresh air and away from too many people, and get help if needed. Talking to a Ngangkari or Pastor may also help.



Alcohol and Drug Worker (Ngaanyatjarra Health Service) 0429 947 547
The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) ph: 1800 198 024
Parent Drug Information Service (PDIS)  ph: 1800 653 203
The Meth (YABU) Helpline Ph: 1800 874 878

Stages of Change - Painting Dwanye Shaw


Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to you being kakirri, this could lead making bad choices because your not in control when your drunk. You could make poor decisions and find yourself in situations that aren’t safe such as;

  • Getting locked up (breaking whiteman’s law and aboriginal lore)
  • Fighting or arguing
  • Having unsafe sex
  • Drink driving or being in a car accident
  • Not thinking about your kids (not feeding them, not knowing where they are, putting them at   risk  from other intoxicated people)

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness (kata spinning)
  • Could have a fit or black out



Drinking large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can put you at risk of;

  • Cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease or renal failure (leading to dialysis)
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression and other mental health problems


  • If you are pregnant the safest option is to not drink alcohol. Alcohol isn’t healthy for the baby and could affect the baby’s development. If we drink alcohol when pregnant so does the baby and their liver and kidneys cannot filter alcohol like we do.


  • Stick to the National Guidelines no more than 2 standard drinks of alcohol per day.








285 mL of full strength beer (4.8% alc. vol)
375mL of mid strength beer (3.5% alc.vol)
425 mL of low strength beer (2.7% alc. vol)
100 mL of wine (red - 13% alc. vol, and white – 11.5% alc. vol)
100 mL of champagne (12% alc. vol) 3
30 mL of spirits (40% alc. vol)
275 mL bottle of ready-to-drink beverage (5% alcohol content)


(In accordance with NHRMC guidelines. For further information www.alcoholthinkagain.com.au)

This is a sample text. You can click on it to edit it inline or open the element options to access additional options for this element.

Artist: Nancy Carnegie Tjungupi
Title: Kuluntjarra 2013
Kuluntjarra is a salt lake about twenty kilometres west of Patjarr. It was created by two men (Wati Kutjarra Tjukurrpa) who were hunting and camping at Wanaritjarra, a small but deep rockhole near the lake. The two men found mingkurrpa (native tobacco) growing around the lake, which they picked and chewed. It was too strong and made them very sick.
They started to sweat and then throw up. They vomited copiously and created the salt lake which is always soft on top.
Tjukurrpa - Physical feature or part of the countryside associated with a dreamtime story; Character from a dreamtimestory. (From Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra to English Dictionary, Alice Springs, IAD Press)

Tobacco / cigarette / Puyu / Mingkurlpa

"All of these come from the tobacco plant and all of them are not good for your body or the people you love”

Inside tobacco is a chemical called nicotine, Nicotine tricks our brain to believe its good for us but nicotine is really addictive. It makes us want more and more.

That’s just the beginning of the bad things from tobacco.


There are over 7000 chemicals in tobacco, here are some of them


  • Cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Diabetes


Second hand smoking is when our kids or non smokers breath in the air near people smoking. For example smoking in homes and cars.

Sickness you can get from second hand smoking

  • Chest infections : Bronchitis , Pneumonia and croup
  • Asthma
  • Middle ear infections or glue ear which can lead to hearing loss
  • Eye & throat sores
  • Headaches

Second hand smoke is harmful to children.

Children suffer as many if not more illnesses than adults because their small bodies are not as strong as adults to cope with smoking. Children have the right to breathe fresh air and as their carers / parents it is our job to make sure we keep them safe from sickness

Second Hand Smoking has 250 toxic chemicals and 50 of them cause cancer

When your pregnant whatever you do the baby does, so when you smoke it goes straight to the baby. The baby can get really sick and be born with these types of sickness

  • Breathing problems like asthma
  • Be born small and undeveloped
  • Be addictive to Nicotine when born








  • NRT ( Nicotine Replacement Therapy) patches , gum or medication to help stop using tobacco
  • Talking or yarning to family
  • Group talk with family

This is your decision , our role is to help you to QUIT!

Speak to your

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Go into the clinic

Or walk straight into our office and our TIS team will support you

Mental Health

Everyone has days when we feel good and happy, and days when we feel stressed out, sad or angry. This is normal.

When someone has strong mental health they can go along doing the things they enjoy in life. They can work, help out in their community, and cope with the normal stresses of life.

Strong mental health helps us to handle stress, connect with others, and make decisions. It includes how we think, feel, and act, and how we get along with other people.

Mental Health is important at every stage of life from babies right up to older people.

There are different types of signs and symptoms for the different types of mental illness. And each person with a mental illness will experience it differently.

Some common signs and symptoms are:

  • Feeling really sad or down
  • Worrying too much
  • Having a hard time
  • Shutting others out
  • Stressing out too much
  • Not acting like themselves
  • Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep at night
  • Imagining things that are not real
  • Eating too much, or choosing not to eat at all
  • Really afraid, or not trusting anyone
  • Big mood changes
  • Not able to cope with daily problems
  • Thinking about about hurting themselves


If you are worried you have some of the signs and symptoms of a mental illness, speak to your Aboriginal Health Worker or someone at the clinic. Just like a physical illness, like diabetes or high blood pressure, there are treatments and medicines for mental illnesses that can help you to feel better.

Information on this page is adapted from the PHaMs Indigenous Brochure (FaHCSIA 2010) and Mayo Clinic Website (2015, accessed 25/01/2018) and has been approved by PHaMs Cultural Brokers as culturally appropriate.

(Mayo Clinic, 2015) Available here 

Strong mental health and feeling well in the face of life’s challenges is important to our overall health and well-being.


There are some things that help people to stay mentally strong and may protect people from mental illness. These include…

  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Going hunting
  • Being on country
  • Playing sport
  • Doing exercise
  • Eating healthy food
  • Doing something creative – painting, telling stories or playing music
  • Gardening


There are also some things that put people at risk of getting a mental illness. These include…

  • spending too much time alone
  • drinking too much wama
  • smoking ganja
  • using yabu or other drugs

    If you or a family member have a mental illness help is available. Speak to the Aboriginal Health Worker in your community or someone at the clinic.


Information on this page is adapted from the Mental Health Commission Website (2013) and has been approved by PHaMs Cultural Brokers as culturally appropriate.

Available at: http://strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca/strategy/promoting-mental-health-and-preventing-mental-illness/


Domestic Violence is bashings, scaring, swearing and talking wrong way between people who live together.

Domestic Violence is stopping you from going out, taking away money, forcing sex, or forcing sexual things, being jealous

Domestic Violence is no good for kids.

Don’t let this happen in any community. Have happy families.

  • Call for help – police, clinic, NPY Women's Council
  • Tell someone you trust
  • Go to a safe place
  • Make a safety plan
  • In WA you can get a 3 day Police Order. It starts straight away and can keep you safe until a restraining order goes through court.

NPY Women's council Domestic Violence Service 1800 180 840



Suicide is when someone takes their own life.

Aboriginal People are more at risk of suicide than other Australians, especially young people under the age of 35 years.

If someone you know is having a hard time, reach out to them.

If you are struggling, ask for help. Sharing how you feel with someone you trust might help. It could be a friend, family, health worker, teacher or other staff member.

If you don't feel like there's anyone in your community you can talk to, call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467


Warning signs - Beyond blue


If someone is talking about taking their own life, it is important to listen to them and take them seriously.

Things you can do that might help keep them safe include:

  • Remove anything they might use to hurt themselves (e.g. rope, knife).
  • Stay with them, never leave the person alone.
  • If some one is upset and walks off, always go after them and make sure they're okay. Don't let them go off on their own.
  • Talk to the person in a calm good way. Don't say anything to make the person feel shame.
  • Get help. Call 000 or your local clinics emergency number.
  • If you don't have a phone, ask a friend, family or neighbour to go get help while you stay with them.

If someone has tried to hurt themselves it is important they see a health professional and get support. Having support and understanding of family and friends is very important. Sharing stories, going to church, going bush, and playing sport can all help someone feel more connected and less alone.

Suicide Facebook page?

PHaMs Warburton 8954 6229

Clinic in your community (click here for numbers)