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Health and Community Services
November 15, 2010

Youth Encouraged to Talk About Substance Use
During 2010 Addictions Awareness Week

Supporting young people in Newfoundland and Labrador to speak about substance use is the main focus of 2010 Addictions Awareness Week, which takes place from November 14 to 20. The Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services, today announced some of the Addictions Awareness Week activities that will take place throughout the province.

"This is an important time to remind the young people in our province of the dangers of addiction and to emphasize the importance of providing them with support to make healthier life decisions," said Minister Kennedy. "The activities planned across the province this week will encourage youth to talk about substance use and to share how they have, and continue to make positive choices."

Addictions Awareness Week will officially kickoff today at Carbonear Collegiate school with the launch of a one-person play entitled Incinerator Road, performed by Joel Hynes, Newfoundland writer, playwright, and actor. The play will also be performed at a number of other schools during the week: Queen Elizabeth Regional High School (Foxtrap), Holy Trinity High School (Torbay), and Holy Spirit High School (Manuels).

Minister Kennedy also announced today that Choices for Youth will receive $50,000 to support a social media campaign targeted at youth and substance abuse. Choices for Youth will connect with other youth-serving groups and agencies and youth across the province to get messages out.

Several other activities organized by various groups are taking place this week throughout the province, including the annual Addictions Awareness Week Maze, which focuses on increasing awareness of substance use and encourages healthy decision making for grade eight students; school presentations; public information sessions and displays; public skating events; and, community breakfasts and contests.

"Addressing addiction issues in our province is an important priority for the Williams Government," said Minister Kennedy. "We recognize the importance of ensuring that the proper programs and services are in place to help with the prevention and treatment of addiction, and we will continue to make significant investments in this area so that residents have access to these services when and where needed."

Budget 2010: The Right Investments — For Our Children and Our Future includes an investment of $7.2 million to strengthen mental health and addictions services in the province, including $2.4 million for continued planning and construction of a new residential treatment centre in St. John's for children and youth with complex mental health needs; $2 million to further a new residential treatment centre in Grand Falls-Windsor for children and youth with addictions; $2 million for the planning and development of an adult residential addictions treatment centre in Harbour Grace; $482,900 to enhance child psychiatry services at the Janeway Hospital; and, $300,000 to support new community-based projects, with a focus on mental health and addictions issues.

The Provincial Government has invested $17.9 million over the past five years in mental health and addictions, including the creation of an adolescent day treatment program; three multi-disciplinary community treatment teams; new mental health legislation; the opening of Humberwood Provincial Treatment Centre in Corner Brook, for adult residents of the province requiring in-patient treatment for addictions; and, funding for several community groups.

For more information, visit

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Media contact:
Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 685-2646

2010 11 15                                                       9:25 a.m.

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