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Youth Drug & Alcohol Service A Progressive Step

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Party leader

New South Island Youth Drug & Alcohol Service a progressive step

Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton is welcoming the announcement from the Canterbury District Health Board that it has selected a provider for the South Island's new Alcohol & Other Drug Treatment Service for young people.

"This is a progressive step.

"It means that vulnerable young people requiring alcohol and drug treatment services in the South Island will have better access to those services," the Progressive leader said.

Jim Anderton's Progressive Party successfully bid for funding in the Labour Progressive coalition government's 2003 budget to enable a South Island alcohol and drug treatment service targeted at young people to be established and the Canterbury District Health Board has announced that Odyssey House Trust has been selected to provide the service by a panel of experts.

Budget 2003 included $550,000 in annual operating funding and a $250,000 one-off capital expenditure payment to enable a residential facility to be established to support the Youth Drug Court pilot.

The Progressive Party argued at the time that the lack of a residential centre in Christchurch was a major barrier to the potential success of the Youth Drug Court.

The Youth Drug Court arose from a Ministerial Taskforce on Youth Crime and it is estimated that around 80 per cent of youth offenders have a drug or alcohol problem. Police and other agencies have identified residential facilities as vital in the battle to keep individuals and the community safe and to discourage re-offending.

www.beehive.govt.nz/anderton www.progressive.org.nz

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