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Archived - Government of Canada Works with Ontario to Help Prevent Young People From Taking Illicit Drugs

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News Release
April 17, 2009
For immediate release

KITCHENER - The Government of Canada is supporting a project under the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund that will strengthen drug prevention and health promotion strategies for youth in Kitchener, Ontario. Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Centre, made the announcement today on behalf of Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be working with provinces and communities across the country to help prevent illicit drug use and addiction among youth," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This project will provide schools in the Kitchener-Waterloo area with the tools and training they need to educate young people about the negative consequences of taking drugs and the advantages of staying drug-free."

The High on Life Challenge project carried out by the Counselling Service at St. Mary's Hospital in Kitchener is designed to reduce drug use among young people and engage high school and college age youth in healthy activities and lifestyles. The project will deliver High on Life curriculum to educational professionals in local high schools, colleges and universities, train school personnel and youth workers, and develop program materials and resources to support the High on Life Challenge program.

"The High on Life Challenge program will help youth entering high school, college or university in the Kitchener-Waterloo area steer clear of drugs," said Mr. Woodworth. "This project is an important step in addressing drug use among youth. I look forward to seeing the positive results of these efforts in the months and years ahead."

Coba Moolenburgh, Director of St. Mary's Counselling Service explains that the program is designed to help youth find healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol . "We are proud to partner with Health Canada to equip young people in our community with the tools they need to live a successful life without the use of drugs and alcohol." 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. St. Mary's Counselling Service's High on Life Challenge program will receive $678,651 in financial support. .

Please visit the National Anti-Drug Strategy website for more information.

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Media Enquiries:
Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Josée Bellemare
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Public Enquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

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