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Project aims to curb the curse of Drug Addiction

Clendon Project aims to curb the curse of Drug Addiction

A new project targeting the use of illegal drugs amongst local youth has begun in Clendon, Manukau City.

The CAYAD (Community Action on Youth and Drugs) project is a new partnership between the Ministry of Health and Manukau City Council. Clendon is one of 15 CAYAD sites across New Zealand participating in the national project.

Barry Keon, Chair of Council's Community Safety Committee, says the Ministry has acknowledged Council's experience and commitment when it comes to the health and wellbeing of its community.

"Almost half (42%) of Manukau's population is under the age of 25. In a survey carried out by Council last year, we found that 39% of the youth respondents said that dealing with drugs and alcohol was a major issue for them. Along with alcohol, violence and dishonesty, drugs topped the list of crime issues they were most concerned about."

The objectives for the CAYAD project are: " To promote effective policies and practices to reduce harm by working in partnership with a range of community stakeholders and agencies " To increase informed community discussion and debate " To promote positive whanau responses to substances that threaten the well being of Maori youth " To reduce supply of drugs to young people " To develop local capacity in areas such as education, employment and recreation to support young people.

"Reducing harm from illicit drugs, including methamphetamine and cannabis is a priority both for the Government and local communities.

"I believe that the joint approach the CAYAD partnership brings to communities such as Clendon offers the greatest potential to reduce the growth of the curse that is drug addition and the detrimental effect it is having on our young people and their families", says Councillor Keon.

A support group will be established made up of representatives from the Clendon community including schools, youth, service providers and police.

"The group will put together and implement an action plan that will give voice to both youth and community concerns on the effect that illegal drug use is having on Clendon's 1800 households", says Councillor Keon.

Council is appointing two staff to co-ordinate the project and they will be located in the Clendon Community.

With a contract term of two years (November 2003 - October 2005) the project is fully funded by the Ministry of Health and will be evaluated independently by the Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE Whariki).

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