Government improves access to substance abuse services

    $8.7 million will bring new services to areas of need

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Today's investment in community addictions
treatment will mean better treatment for Ontarians struggling to overcome
dependence on alcohol, illicit drugs and problem gambling. The announcement
was welcomed by provincial addictions and mental health providers.
    George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced today
that the Government of Ontario will provide community-based addiction agencies
with a 8.7 million increase in funds, and make investments in new addiction
services in areas of the province in need of greater services.
    "Addiction treatment works," said Norma Medulun, Chair of Addictions
Ontario. "These services reduce dependency, improve the health of clients, and
have enormous economic benefits. By providing all service providers with a
funding increase, the Government is ensuring that cost of living pressures
won't diminish our capacity to provide these services."
    "Today, the Government has recognized that addiction services must be
improved in areas where access is poor," said David Kelly, Executive Director
of the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addictions Programs.
"Addiction services are a critical part of health care. The government is to
be congratulated on expanding services where population growth and demand
greatly exceeds service capacity, while providing increased support to all
providers in the province. Addiction and mental health providers see these
types of investments as ways to address the huge social and economical costs
of addiction."

    For More Information:

    Addictions Ontario (AO)
    Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA ON)
    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
    Ontario Association of Patient Councils (OAPC) (416) 633-9420
    Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs
    Ontario Peer Development Initiative (OPDI)

    This partnership was developed in 2004, and is comprised of six
organizations that include: Addictions Ontario, Canadian Mental Health
Association (CMHA), Ontario, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH),
Ontario Association of Patient Councils (OAPC), Ontario Federation of
Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (OFCMHAP) and Ontario Peer
Development Initiative (OPDI). Together, they are committed to raising the
profile of mental illness and addictions in Ontario, and to supporting the
needs of those living with mental health and addictions problems, their
families, and their communities.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Kelly, Executive Director
OFCMHAP, (416) 490-8900, ext. 22; Norma Medulun, President, Board of
Directors, Addictions Ontario, (905) 682-6411, ext. 63121; Michael Torres,
Media Relations, CAMH, (416) 595-6015

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