Harper Government Supports Youth Drug Prevention Projects across the Country

Strengthening local, regional and national efforts to combat illicit and prescription drug use among youth

NEW GLASGOW, NS, May 23, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia and Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada, today announced $16.1 million in federal funding over three years to help prevent and reduce illicit and prescription drug abuse among youth ages 10 to 24.

The funding will support 34 projects across the country, including 4 in Nova Scotia, to address a wide range of illicit and prescription drug abuse issues, especially among vulnerable youth, who have a higher risk of developing substance abuse and dependency.

Many of the projects will equip young people with the knowledge and skills to recognise and avoid situations where there may be peer pressure to use drugs. Others are designed to provide parents and those who work with youth, with drug education and prevention strategies that will help families and communities deal with the growing problem of substance abuse.

The projects being funded in Nova Scotia are: Youth Adventure Program (South Shore District Health Authority); Strengthening Youth and Families (Colchester East Hants Health Authority); Youth Truth Matters - A Youth Led Approach to Illicit Drugs in Rural Communities (Tri-County Women's Centre); and Sober Passages: Addressing Illicit Drug Use during Life Transitions of Rural Nova Scotia Middle-School/Junior High Youth (Pictou County Health Authority).

Preventing substance abuse among young people is a critical focus of the Government's National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS).  The Strategy is the cornerstone of the Government of Canada's efforts to keep Canadian communities safe from the dangers linked to drug abuse and trafficking.

The remaining projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

Quick Facts

  • The projects are being funded under the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund (DSCIF), which is part of the Government's National Anti-Drug Strategy.
  • The DSCIF receives $9.6 million annually for a wide range of national, provincial, territorial or local community-based initiatives that contribute to reducing drug use among youth through health promotion and prevention projects.
  • The DSCIF helps young people ages 10 to 24 to make informed decisions about illicit and prescription drug use and ultimately reduce risk-taking behaviours. It also helps strengthen the ability of communities to get involved and prevent illicit and prescription drug abuse before it happens.
  • The Government's National Anti-Drug Strategy focuses on prevention and access to treatment for those with drug dependencies, while at the same time, combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs that threaten the safety of our youth and communities.
  • Since the announcement of the National Anti-Drug Strategy in 2007, the Government has invested approximately $72.4 million in multi-year community-based projects through the DSCIF.


"Our Government is very proud of the innovative work done with our partners under the National Anti-Drug Strategy to help prevent illicit drug use and provide access to treatment to those with substance abuse issues.  Right here in Nova Scotia, this will mean local organizations will continue to reach even more youth and ensure they are given the tools and an opportunity to grow and heal.  We are committed to funding important initiatives such as these that encourage youth to make smarter choices, assist those with drug dependencies and help make communities across Canada safer and healthier".

Peter MacKay
Regional Minister for Nova Scotia and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"The Harper Government supports drug prevention programs that are focused on ending drug use. The funding announced today will support many communities across the country in improving the quality of prevention services and reducing drug use among youth. It will also provide needed information to those most affected by drug use, including parents, young people, educators, law enforcement authorities and communities."

Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health 

"With the funding announced today, we will have the ability to enhance the services offered to young people in those critical years between grades 6 and 9 when many of them begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol. The Sober Passages program will take a health promotion/prevention approach that will provide the opportunity to work closely with our partner agencies as we make information, skills and supports available to young people and their parents."

Greg Purvis
Director, Addiction and Mental Health Services
Pictou County Health Authority

Associated Links

National Anti-Drug Strategy
The Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund (DSCIF) - At a Glance
News Release: Harper Government Invests in Drug Prevention Strategy for Youth 

SOURCE: Health Canada

For further information:


Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Paloma Aguilar
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Health Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

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

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media


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