Preventing Young People From Taking Illicit Drugs

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The Government of Canada is supporting a project that will help prevent youth in the Niagara region from taking illicit drugs, announced Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.

The Engage, Educate & Empower project will train 60 high school students to become leaders among their peers and establish substance abuse prevention groups in 35 per cent of all Niagara Region’s high schools.

The Niagara Youth Drug Strategy project will receive $450,391 in financial support for this important project.

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"Raising awareness about substance abuse will help better equip youth to make informed decisions about their futures and their health" said Mr. Dykstra. "I look forward to seeing the benefits of this project in the months and years ahead."

"The Government of Canada is proud to be working with provinces and communities across the country to help prevent illicit drug use among youth," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This project will provide the Niagara Drug Awareness Committee with the tools they need to educate young people about the negative consequences of taking drugs."

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

"The Niagara Drugs Awareness Committee has worked hand-in-hand with local partners to increase community awareness of the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs," said Janet Zanutto, Chair of the Niagara Drug Awareness Committee (NDAC). "Receiving funding from Health Canada has endowed NDAC with the capacity to truly make strides in meeting the needs of Niagara families and have a measurable impact on the health of our community when it comes to substance abuse."

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 illicit drug use issues, especially among vulnerable populations such as youth.

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