Feds donate $1 million towards drug use prevention program

Six to 10 thousand youth in Ottawa will have a better chance of saying ‘no’ to drugs thanks to a federal government donation. On Feb. 10, Pierre Poilievre, MP for Nepean-Carleton on behalf of the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, minister of health, announced the federal government will contribute $1 million over a four year period to help eradicate youth addiction and drug usage.
Poilievre announced the government’s support for S.T.E.P. (support, treatment, education and prevention) – a project that provides targeted help for youth in Ottawa who are at risk of engaging in substance abuse. S.T.E.P. is Ottawa’s response to addressing the need for residential addiction treatment, education and prevention for young people aged 13 to 17. It is a fundraising campaign involving community partners such as Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jim Watson, Ottawa Police chief Vern White, Mayor Larry O’Brien and Michael Allen, president and CEO of United Way Ottawa.
“This project will help to prevent young people in high schools from taking drugs in the first place,” said Poilievre “Activities will be held in those schools for students who are at risk of drinking or taking drugs. This strategy helps to prevent the use of drugs, treats people with drug addictions, and combats drug trafficking. The strategy also emphasizes education for young people and their parents on the damages that drug use can cause.” The initiative was announced at the Ottawa Police headquarters and is part of the government’s national anti-drug strategy, which was introduced in 2007.
“That’s why our Conservative government is providing the project S.T.E.P. with up to $1 million in support—over the next four years—from its drug treatment funding program,” Poilievre added. According to Allen, this initiative “will no less than double the capacity for counsellors and prevention education” and will -double the infrastructure that is already in place in Ottawa schools. “It’s a good day for the future of our community,” said White.
“A number of schools don’t have the resources they need and a number of schools certainly don’t have the capacity to deal with the challenges they are facing right now.” White said six to 6,000 to 10,000 youths in Ottawa will benefit from this programming. Poilievre concluded by saying this initiative is close to his heart since he has seen some of his loved ones battle drug addiction.
“It’s very important that lives are spared from this terrible destructive path and I’m hoping that this million dollar donation will help us to achieve that goal.”
Source: meghan.grahamnepeathisweek.com Feb.21 2009

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