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Legislative Reports (9 February 2005)

NPD Meth Strategy No Money For Much Needed Services
9 February 2005

So whats better in life? Having a bunch of ideas and no money, or having a lot of money and no ideas? A combination of both is what usually happens.

However on the issue of crystal meth, the Calvert NDP has managed to create the worst of both worlds.

In response to Saskatchewan Partys continual demand for a plan to deal with this issue, as well as the release of a five point Crystal Meth strategy in January, the Calvert NDP produced a 25 point plan to control this growing problem. Health Minister John Nilson said his plan had more substance than the Saskatchewan Party proposal perhaps because his plan had more points.

However, if you look at the Calvert NDP plan, theres a problem. For the most part, its a re-hash of what is already being done. And, the new ideas dont have any money attached to them.

For example, the Calvert NDP plan talks about brief detox. This would be short term services for people who need help with their addiction immediately. This isnt being done now. John Nilson says health districts can re-allocate existing beds for this use. Theres no money for new beds, new counselors or any other new services.

Experts are just starting to learn more about how to treat people addicted to crystal meth. They say breaking this cycle of addiction takes much longer than it does for normal drug or alcohol addictions. This is because crystal meth is so powerfully addictive right from the start.

This is a new kind of problem we are facing. It will take new resources, and new ways of thinking.

Sadly the Calvert NDP still doesnt seem to recognize this simple fact. And there is a need for the over-all coordination of addictions services in our province. The Saskatchewan Partys crystal meth strategy calls for the re-establishment of a province-wide agency to coordinate addictions treatment.

Try to find that proposal in the new Calvert NDP strategy.

Contact Glen.

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