News Release - August 4, 2005
NEW ALCOHOL AND DRUG SERVICES FOR SASKATOON
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 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 Saskatoon region include:
· a 12 bed youth stabilization unit;
· a street-front outreach centre;
· prevention staff and resources
· operating funding for the brief detox facility;
· methadone services; and
· a new addictions research chair at the University of Saskatchewan.
The investment will amount to approximately $900,000 in capital construction and $1.8 million annual operational expenditures.
"This is wonderful news for our Health Region, both from a treatment, as well as from a prevention perspective," Saskatoon Health Region President and CEO Maura Davies said. "Successfully treating clients of our health region for substance abuse is critical, however, education and prevention initiatives are absolutely what is needed to see long-term decreases in substance abuse in our province."
"The University of Saskatchewan thanks the province for their investment in dedicated study on an issue of such broad community concern and their confidence in the abilities of our health sciences programs to support this work," U of S President Peter MacKinnon said. "The work of this important new Chair will draw on our existing strengths in health education, research and public policy to broaden provincial and national understanding of addictions and treatment services."
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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