News Release - August 4, 2005
NEW ALCOHOL AND DRUG SERVICES FOR REGINA QU'APPELLE
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 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 programs and services across the province, but the highlights for the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region include:
· a 12-bed brief detoxification centre;
· new prevention staff and resources;
· additional youth outpatient and outreach services with cross-trained addictions and mental health workers; and
· support for a drug treatment court.
This investment will amount to approximately $800,000 in capital construction and $900,000 annual operational expenditures.
"These new services will allow the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region and its many partners to greatly enhance the help we can provide to people with addictions," Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region Mental Health and Addictions Services Executive Director and Regina and Area Drug Strategy spokesperson Dave Hedlund said. "Substance abuse has a profound impact in so many areas and we welcome the government's commitment to work with our communities and local agencies in addressing the priority areas which have been identified."
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 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 Graham Addley's report Healthy Choices in a Healthy Community are available online at www.publications.gov.sk.ca.
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