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August 12, 2008
For immediate release
Government of Canada Invests in Addiction Support Programs for Youth in Prince Edward Island
Office of the Attorney General
“This Government is simply not going to throw in the towel when the health and safety of our communities - and the lives of our young people - are at risk,” said Minister Nicholson. “We remain committed to the goals of making our communities safer, protecting our youth from a life of drugs and crime, and showing compassion for those who fall victim to illicit drugs.”
The Government of Canada will provide funding to the Community and Correctional Services division of the Office of the Attorney General. The division will participate in the development and implementation of the Prince Edward Island Youth Substance Use and Addiction Strategy.
Through active participation on the provincial strategy, the Office of the Attorney General will gain in-house expertise and develop referral and assessment procedures, as well as post-treatment relapse prevention programs, for youth in conflict with the law who are battling an addiction to illicit drugs.
“I am proud to be part of a government that is working to reduce the damaging effects of illicit drugs on our youth and on our communities,” said Minister Nicholson. “Our collaboration with the provinces, territories and support agencies help provide youth the support they need to make smart choices and steer clear of illicit drugs and drug-related crime.”
“We cannot build safer communities without addressing the needs of young people with addiction issues,” said Attorney General Greenan. “This initiative is part of a broader provincial strategy to treat youth with substance abuse problems. By treating addiction, we believe we can reduce reoffending and stop the progress of youth offenders into the adult justice system. We appreciate the federal government’s continued support as we work together to reduce youth addiction and crime.”
The funding will be provided through the Department of Justice in support of the National Anti-Drug Strategy. The National Anti-Drug Strategy is a collaborative effort involving Health Canada, Public Safety Canada and the Department of Justice and includes three action plans: preventing illicit drug use; treating those with illicit drug dependencies; and combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs.
For more information on the Government of Canada’s National Anti-Drug Strategy please visit: www.nationalantidrugstrategy.gc.ca
FUNDING FOR PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND'S ATTORNEY GENERAL OFFICE, COMMUNITY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES DIVISION
The Government of Canada is providing over $300,000 over 3 years in funding for the Community and Correctional Services Division of Prince Edward Island’s Attorney General’s Office. The project supports Canada’s National Anti-Drug Strategy which focuses on: preventing illicit drug use in young people, treating people who have drug addictions, and combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs.
About the Youth Justice Fund - Youth Justice Anti-Drug Component:
Under the Youth Justice Fund - Youth Justice Anti-Drug Component, Justice Canada funds treatment opportunities designed to assist youth already in the justice system with their rehabilitation, as well as to create connections with community-based programs and services that will help youth make smart choices and resist drug use. By supporting the rehabilitation and safe reintegration of young offenders back into their communities, the Government of Canada is working to maintain safe streets and safe neighbourhoods.
Starting in 2008/2009, the fund will provide just under $1.5 million each year to projects that will help youth in the justice system who are addicted to drugs.
About the Funding:
This project will help support salary costs for one full-time Youth Justice Addictions Manager and one part-time Addiction Community Youth Worker. Their primary duties will be to participate on the Implementation Team of the Provincial Youth Addictions Strategy to ensure services, programs, policies and supports are developed to provide addiction services for youth in conflict with the law and to develop a protocol for young offenders to access addictions services in Prince Edward Island.
The project activities will include the development of in-house expertise on illicit substance abuse for youth justice staff, development of referral and assessment protocols, establishment of a relapse prevention program for youth with illicit substance abuse issues, and, lastly, an evaluation of the protocols and programs developed.
This initiative is being implemented in conjunction with a broader provincial strategy on youth with substance abuse issues. This strategy has been developed through an interdepartmental advisory group, chaired by the Department of Health, with representation from the Departments of Health, Transportation and Public Works, Social Services and the Office of the Attorney General.
BACKGROUNDER: NATIONAL ANTI-DRUG STRATEGY
The National Anti-Drug Strategy is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada and Health Canada, and includes three action plans: preventing illicit drug use; treating those with illicit drug dependencies; and combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs.
The Prevention Action Plan focuses on preventing illicit drug use among young people. It will provide information to those most affected by drug use, including parents, young people, educators, law enforcement authorities, and communities.
The Prevention Action Plan will:
• refocus existing community-based, drug-use prevention strategies, programs and services for youth;
• provide information directly to parents, educators, and health professionals;
• develop materials for school-based awareness and prevention strategies for elementary and secondary school students;
• discourage illicit drug use through a new, national public awareness campaign; and
• provide financial help to communities for local projects to tackle the growing challenge of illicit drug use among young people.
The Government of Canada has committed $30 million in new funding over five years to support the Prevention Action Plan. This funding will bolster existing prevention efforts.
The Treatment Action Plan supports innovative approaches to treating and rehabilitating those with illicit drug addiction who pose a risk to themselves and the community.
This Plan will promote collaboration among governments and support agencies to increase access to drug treatment services. It will:
• enhance treatment and support for First Nations and Inuit people;
• provide treatment programs for young offenders with drug-related problems;
• enable the RCMP to refer youth with drug-related problems to treatment programs; and
• support research on new treatment models.
The Government of Canada has committed over $100 million in new funding over five years to support the Treatment Action Plan. This funding will bolster existing treatment efforts.
The Enforcement Action Plan bolsters law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute drug crimes. It will increase law enforcement’s capacity to combat marihuana grow operations, synthetic drug production and distribution operations.
The Enforcement Action Plan will:
• provide funding to the RCMP so they can expand their dedicated anti-drug teams to help locate, investigate and shut down organizations involved in the production and distribution of illicit drugs;
• provide resources to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to provide legal advice to law enforcement at the investigative stage and to effectively prosecute those involved with the production and distribution of illicit drugs;
• increase the number of Health Canada inspectors and investigators to ensure accurate and timely analysis of suspected illicit drugs seized by law enforcement;
• increase the capacity of Canada Border Service Agency to inhibit the cross-border movement of precursor chemicals and illicit drugs;
• help law enforcement stop the flow of money that organized crime makes from the illicit drug trade;
• improve the ability of Canadian law enforcement officials to conduct joint investigations with their United States counterparts; and
• ensure that serious penalties are in place for serious drug crimes.
The Government of Canada has committed approximately $102 million in new funding over five years to support the Enforcement Action Plan. An additional $67.7 million of funding will be made available under the Enforcement Action Plan if the proposed legislation on mandatory minimum penalties is passed. This funding will bolster existing enforcement efforts.
Progress under the National Anti-Drug Strategy:
To date, under the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the Government of Canada has:
• introduced legislation to ensure that serious penalties are in place for serious drug crimes;
• launched a prevention-focused awareness campaign, with input from the National Drug Prevention Advisory Committee, aimed at discouraging illicit drug use;
• announced more than $7 million in funding for Health Canada’s Community Initiatives Fund to help communities across Canada tackle the increasing challenge of illicit drug use by young people;
• announced $3.3 million in new funding to enhance the ability of Canada Border Services Agency to inhibit the cross-border flow of illicit drugs;
• invested $10 million in funding for a Drug Prevention Strategy for Canada’s Youth to be developed and implemented by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse;
• invested $8.9 million to strengthen the RCMP’s drug enforcement and Proceeds of Crime Teams;
• announced $111 million over five years in new and ongoing funding for critical drug treatment initiatives for provinces and territories, including;
- $30.5 million over five years to bolster services across Canada that will help First Nations and Inuit who suffer from drug addictions;
- $10 million to support new treatment services that will help to treat individuals living in Vancouver's Downtown East Side;
- over $220,000 in funding for a drug treatment intervention program for Aboriginal youth with drug and gang involvement ; and
- $2 million to improve addictions services in Vancouver’s downtown eastside that will help First Nations and Inuit recover from addictions to alcohol and illicit drugs.