News Release - August 4, 2005
PREMIER'S \"PROJECT HOPE\" IS PROVINCIAL ACTION PLAN FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE
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 project, 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.
· triple youth stabilization and treatment capacity throughout the province including the development of a new, residential youth treatment facility in Prince Albert in co-operation with First Nations and the federal government;
· strengthened drug supply reduction resources;
· creation of a new Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Education Directorate within Saskatchewan Health to substantially expand awareness and prevention initiatives;
· redevelopment of the current treatment model to reflect best practices, building in strong and flexible supports for individuals and families at the community level; and
· better data and research to guide policy making, including a research chair at the University of Saskatchewan (full response attached).
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.
The new initiatives will get underway by October. Implementation of most of the community-based services and some residential services will begin in 2006/07, with most of the 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.
A full copy of his report Healthy Choices in a Healthy Community is available at www.publications.gov.sk.ca.
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