Youth addictions outpacing treatment
The current youth addiction treatment program on P.E.I. isn't working for many, admits Health Minister Doug Currie.
Currie pledged Tuesday to introduce a new long-term program, but there are few details as to what that could look like.
"The current program that we offer is succeeding and meeting the needs of some, but is not meeting needs of many," said Currie.
"It's not a criticism of the system…The face of addictions has changed in the past five years, and I think the system needs to respond to that."
Currently the province has an eight-week addiction treatment day program, that sends youth home on weekends. For years, addicts, former addicts and their parents have been calling for 24-hour residential treatment, the kind offered at the Portage clinic in New Brunswick, where P.E.I. sends a handful of young addicts each year.
On Tuesday P.E.I. Opposition leader Steven Myers renewed his party's call for such a facility.
"It doesn't have to be a big expensive building to get this off the ground, but even if the government would start, have a facility that's separate, I think it's an important step forward," said Myers.
Currie won't say how P.E.I.'s new program might operate, but said the province needs to look at how it deals with addiction in both youth and adults. He said government will look to the best practices in other provinces to find a better way to deal with the growing problem of youth addictions.