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October 3, 2014
For immediate release

Court endorses changes in youth mental health and addictions programs

Environment, Labour and Justice

Increased access to mental health and addictions programs is an important step in the development of a unified strategy to address the complex problems of young people, says Chief Provincial Court Judge John Douglas.

“The Provincial Court welcomes the announcement of the establishment of residential addictions and mental health centres for youth,” said Judge Douglas. “Sending adolescents home to the same environment, subject to probation and the requirement that they take treatment, is often not an effective route to recovery or rehabilitation.”

Judge Douglas said that the number of young people coming before the courts who are struggling with a serious addiction is alarming. He said that, in the past, substance abuse was generally related to alcohol or marijuana but the courts are seeing more cases now where serious drugs are involved.

Youth workers have been hampered by the lack of longer term residential facilities in the province. The new centres should provide for more extended treatment with sustained abstinence.

“Provincial court judges are pleased that a joint effort is being made by a number of departments, including Justice, Health and Wellness and Community Services in this new youth health initiative,” said Judge Douglas.

Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
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