OTTAWA, June 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced funding to address prescription drug abuse in First Nations communities in Ontario. This investment will focus on service provision and continuum of care; integration of services and enhanced collaboration among service providers; and capacity building, training and education.
"Tackling drug abuse is a priority for our government and First Nations, and we are committed to working together with the provinces and territories to address this complex issue," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Working with First Nations leadership, and our federal and provincial partners and agencies, Health Canada has been actively supporting the development of collaborative approaches to treatment and after-care programming that strengthen First Nations families and communities."
Today's announcement is the result of strong collaborative work undertaken by the Trilateral First Nations Senior Official Committee, which has representation from the Chiefs of Ontario and various federal and provincial departments. At its inaugural meeting the working group unanimously agreed that tackling prescription drug abuse was the top priority for moving forward. An action plan was developed that is responsive to community needs and adopts an evidence based approach, which reflects the approach envisioned in the Chiefs of Ontario document, "Take A Stand - Prescription Drug Abuse Strategy." This report encourages a continuum of care approach to addictions treatment.
"This is a good step," noted Stan Beardy, newly-elected Chief of the Chiefs of Ontario (COO), and the Co-Chair of the Trilateral First Nations Health Senior Officials Committee. "The solution has to involve all levels of government, as well as our own community leadership. Part of the solution must be to help reconnect the people, especially the young people, back to our basics, which is our special relationship to the land."
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