HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Policy Must Focus On Kids
Pubdate: Tue, 03 Feb 2004
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Province
Authors: Kent Spencer, and Stuart Hunter
Bookmark: (Youth)


Drug and crime initiatives in Surrey should focus on children as young as 
11, a city task force has concluded after studying the problems for 18 months.

"By the time a child is in Grade 6 they are making decisions on whether to 
use drugs or alcohol," Surrey Coun. Dianne Watts, who headed the task 
force, said yesterday. "Surrey has the most children and youth in the 
province. We're aware of adult-addiction issues, but we're more concerned 
about helping youth so they don't become the addicts of tomorrow . . . We 
have to give youth the tools to make the best decisions possible."

The task force tabled its report last night to council.

Among its proposals are: placing drug-sniffing dogs in schools; creating a 
resource centre and detox unit for at-risk youth; using proceeds of crimes 
for prevention initiatives; adding more homeless shelters; and, better 
monitoring of drug-recovery houses.

Coun. Gary Tymoschuk said the recommendations were well-intentioned, but 
pipe dreams: "When it comes to implementation and being able to say 'We are 
going to do it,' we don't have the controls to be able to make that kind of 

Even the report noted that "the city has neither the mandate nor the 
responsibility to carry forth these action plans."

The project brought together MPs, MLAs, police, community groups, 
health-care professionals, addiction specialists and school officials.
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