News Release - August 4, 2005
NEW ALCOHOL AND DRUG SERVICES FOR PRINCE ALBERT REGION
Premier Lorne Calvert today announced his Project Hope – a new three-year plan to prevent and treat substance abuse. The government is committing $10 million of new annual funding for the plan, based on the 15 recommendations contained in the report Healthy Choices in a Healthy Community by Legislative Secretary on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Graham Addley.
The plan includes new front-line programs and services across the province, but the highlights for the Prince Albert region include:
· a new 15-bed youth inpatient residential treatment facility in partnership with First Nations and the federal government;
· new prevention staff and resources;
· expanding social detox capacity by six beds;
· a street-front outreach centre; and
· methadone services.
"This plan has been formulated to address urgent issues in our health region and across the province," Prince Albert Parkland Regional Health Authority chairperson Ray Ewanchuk said. "The plan has been developed through extensive consultation and co-operation among many community agencies and committed individuals. We particularly appreciate the leadership of Premier Lorne Calvert and his government's response to the Addley report. The Prince Albert community has demonstrated strong support for this initiative and has drafted a plan to comprehensively address this issue in the months ahead."
To fast-track the plan, the Premier is topping up the $4.7 million added to the Health budget earlier this year with an additional annual investment of $10 million. This marks an approximate 60 per cent budget increase for addiction prevention and treatment.
"We thank Premier Lorne Calvert and the provincial government for recognizing the importance of consultation and partnerships with First Nations people in this critical area," Prince Albert Grand Council Chief Gary Merasty said. "We all want our young people to have the opportunity to prosper in healthy communities, free from substance abuse. By working together to create a youth treatment centre here in Prince Albert, we can provide a safe place for youth to break the cycle of addictions."
The new initiatives will get underway by October. Implementation of most of the community-based services will begin in 2006/07, with residential services to follow in 2007/08.
The government is currently reviewing methods to help addicted youth who are difficult to engage, resistant to voluntary treatment and considered at-risk of serious harm to themselves or others. The review includes the use of secure care and recommendations are expected in the fall.
"Substance abuse has devastating social, financial and economic consequences for both individuals and communities," Calvert said. "It is essential that we have the resources to avoid or overcome substance abuse issues.
"This comprehensive, integrated approach will help individuals, families, addictions professionals and law enforcement agencies to fight substance abuse, resulting in one of the leading substance abuse programs in the country. I want to thank Mr. Addley for his hard work and his excellent recommendations," Calvert concluded.
Graham Addley was appointed for a one-year term beginning January 1st, 2005 and was directed to review all current substance abuse services and recommend specific program proposals to address any service gaps.
Full copies of the Premier's Project Hope Saskatchewan's Action Plan for Substance Abuse and the Addley report Healthy Choices in a Healthy Community are available at www.publications.gov.sk.ca.
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