Pubdate: Fri, 09 Dec 2016
Source: Telegram, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2016 The Telegram
Author: James Mcleod
Page: A5


New legislation will allow the province to involuntarily detain young
people at the Hope Valley Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor for drug
withdrawal and treatment.

The new law, which will be debated in the House of Assembly on
Thursday, lays out steps for a court order that will allow officials
to detain young people between 12 and 18 years old.

The detention in the Hope Valley Centre's secure treatment unit can be
from five days up to a maximum of 10 days.

"Before I get into the details, this legislation is not about a
teenager who sneaks a beer on the weekend, nor is it about the
teenager who sneaks a toke at a party," Health Minister John Haggie
said. "This legislation is about a small group of youth lost in a
world of addiction. It's about those parents and those families that
have nowhere to turn."

The hope is that using the secure treatment option for a short period
of time will allow young people with exceptionally serious problems to
get through the initial withdrawal, and then voluntarily stay to
finish treatment.

Ruby Hoskins, the chairwoman of Stand Against Drugs and the former
president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School
Councils, applauded the move.

"It's certainly going to give new hope to the families that continue
to fight the war on addictions," she said.

"It's definitely going to help save lives in this province."

Both the Opposition Tories and the NDP supported the

Tory Health Critic Steve Kent said this is something he was working on
when he was health minister, and he's glad to see the job finished.

NDP MHA Gerry Rogers said it's a good move, but it needs to be part of
a larger strategy for dealing with youth addictions and mental-health
issues, which is currently woefully underfunded.
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