Approximately 20 people attended Sunday's screening of the documentary 'Half A Million Steps' at Wellington's Uniting Church.
The documentary shares the church led 2018 event 'The Long Walk To Treatment', which saw 100 people take 500,000 steps from Dubbo to Sydney to deliver a letter to NSW Parliament asking for better access to drug services.
The October 2018 walk and documentary is part of the Fair Treatment campaign to improve access to those treatment services, especially in regional areas.
Presbytery Minister for the Macquarie Darling Presbytery Uniting Church and Wellington Congregational Minister Peter Harvey said the local screening went well with a number of people interested in finding out what the walk was about.
"The Church is still working in seeking support for the move to get the NSW Government to look seriously at its drug laws," he said.
"And start to look at treating drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal issue."
Mr Harvey said it is a long process and the government was still involved in a review of Methylmaphetamine, also known as the drug ice.
"We may be able to get a bit more traction following the release of that report," he said.
"But there's significant community and Parliament support for at least a review and perhaps another drug summit."
Mr Harvey said we have got to start looking at people who are involved in the use of illicit drugs as people rather than statistics or criminals.
"And start looking at how we can help people get out of that situation... where they find themselves dependant upon substances...," he said.
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One of the main things Uniting Church wanted to emphasise was not legalising drugs but decriminalisation of personal use.
"(It's) Putting people in a situation where they are more likely to ask for help about their drug use, because it's a crime people don't want to talk about it," he explained.
"Treating drug use as a crime stops people asking for help because it puts them at risk of a criminal record..."
A special roundtable discussion is being held in Sydney on September 18, where it will hear expert opinions for and against decriminalising the personal use and possession of ice and other amphetamine- type stimulants.
Participants will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the existing prohibitionist framework, as well as different models of depenalisation and decriminalisation.
Mr Harvey said the 'war on drugs' approach that has been used for decades has not worked and a space needs to be created so people can get off it rather than being put into situations where use is encouraged.
He said the 'The Long Walk To Treatment' event aimed to highlight that this type of approach will only work if services are available.
"The availability of treatment places is so limited and the fact that there's 200,000 people across Australia who get turned away from treatment every year because there's not a place available for them," he said.
"In regional NSW, the premise of the documentary was for anybody.... to get treatment they have to go to Sydney."
For somebody who is dependant upon family and support networks, to uproot (their) life to go to long-term residential rehab in Sydney is beyond the pale, even when they can get a place available."
Mr Harvey said treatment and access to services needs to be more readily available.
The next screening in the region will be on Tuesday, October 22 at 7:00 pm in the Wesley Hall at Dubbo Uniting Church, Church Street.
Mr Harvey encourages everyone to get to see the documentary, to ask questions and become involved in the conversation.
"And to treat people as human beings and not as criminals," he added.
If anyone wants more information about the Fair Treatment Campaign they can contact Mr Harvey on firstname.lastname@example.org