Preventing Young People From Taking Illicit Drugs

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The Government of Canada is supporting two projects that will strengthen drug prevention and health promotion strategies for youth in Brant, Ontario. The announcement was made today by Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant, on behalf of Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.

"The Government of Canada is working with provinces and communities across the country to prevent illicit drug use and addiction," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This project will provide these communities in Ontario with the tools they need to educate young people about the negative consequences of taking drugs."

"The growing problem of drug use in our community is well known," said McColeman. "We see its impact in our crime rates, in our workplaces and, worst of all, on families and in our schools. This project is an important step in addressing drug use here in Brant."

A Youth Drop In project hosted by the Addiction Services of Brant Inc. is designed to reduce drug use among at-risk youth aged 13-18 years by addressing the behavioural, social and environmental factors that may lead to drug abuse.

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The Brantford/Brant County Drug Awareness project, hosted by the Brant County Health Unit, will engage and educate grade 7-10 students as well as their parents and teachers to empower them to make healthy decisions related to illicit drugs.

"It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be receiving this funding," said Marion McGeein, Program Manager at the Brant County Health Unit. "Students will be given peer leadership training and will be asked to take responsibility for leading certain activities in their classrooms throughout the school year."

"I would like to thank the Government of Canada for supporting our proposal to establish three drop-in centres throughout the community. The intended outcome of the program is that youth will reduce their use of illicit drugs while developing a sense of civic responsibility through participation in projects that help the community," said Bill Sanderson, Executive Director, St. Leonard's Community Services, on behalf of the Addictions Services of Brant.

Initiatives such as these are part of the Government of Canada's National Anti-Drug Strategy, which was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in October 2007.

The federal Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund provides financial support for health promotion and prevention projects at the national, provincial and local levels. It addresses a wide range of drug use issues, especially among vulnerable populations such as youth. The Government of Canada is providing $534,185 in funding to the Addiction Services of Brant Inc's Youth Drop In project and $73,691 for the Brant County Health Unit's Brantford/Brant County Drug Awareness project.

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