Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate has released a follow-up report on youth opioid use. Alberta’s Government says it has made significant progress to the recommendations that were made following the OCYA’s 2018 Into Focus Report.
Justin Marshall is the Press Secretary for the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions for the Alberta Government.
“Every opioid-related death is one too many, and the deaths of the young people described in the youth advocate’s report are tragic examples of the continued impact addiction is having in Alberta,” Marshall told Lakeland Connect. “We are pleased to see the OCYA is supporting a full continuum of care that spans prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. Alberta’s government shares this commitment and will continue to focus on improving access to recovery for youth.”
Marshall says with respect to the recommendation to create a youth panel, as part of the Alberta’s transition to a recovery oriented system of care, the voices of youth and their families will be included.
“Details are still being worked out, and we will have more to say about the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council’s work in the coming months,” Marshall said. “Alberta’s government provided $21.4 million in April 2020 to improve the Mental Health Helpline, the Kids Help Phone, online resources, such as Togetherall, Jack.org’s Alberta COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub, and Alberta 211 during the pandemic.”
Marshall says that Budget 2021 includes $34 million for children’s health supports to expand addiction, mental health and recovery services for children and youth.