The first youth addictions treatment centre in Newfoundland and Labrador is set to open its doors in Grand Falls-Windsor, with just a bit more unpacking needed.
On Monday, provincial officials toured the $12.5-million facility.
Staff at the centre said they can't wait to have their first youth step through the doors for treatment.
Val Elson, regional manager of Mental Health and Addictions, said this is a service that's sorely needed in the province.
"At this point, prior to us opening, any youth who had complex issues and needed residential care would have to leave the province, so we would have to send them to Ontario or New Brunswick or something like that," she said.
Up to 12 young people will be able to stay at the centre at a time, with 40 staff on site, including nurses, teachers and counsellors.
Desmond Coombs, director of Mental Health and Addictions Services, said staff will focus on multiple areas of development for youth at the centre.
"We have programs that will be based upon traditional education, but also ecological education, and getting the youth to think about their situation awareness, aware of their environment, so they become more aware of their mind body and spirit," he said.
Keeping up with drug trends
Included in the facilities is an art and music room, visiting facilities, and a gymnasium and fitness centre.
Staff said there will be a lot of hardship faced by young people at the site, with alcohol and marijuana topping the list.
However, Coombs said there is a growing list of problems youth face — and the centre will be doing everything to keep up with them.
"The drug market on the streets are always two or three steps ahead of us," he said.
"We'll have ways of working with Health Canada and the province to see what's coming on next, and getting state of the art information on how to deal with withdrawal and treatment of these new drugs."
The centre in Grand Falls-Windsor is set to open in late May or early June.
Another youth treatment centre aimed at helping youth cope with complex mental health issues is in the works for Paradise.