Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has issued the following release in response to today’s provincial Child and Youth Advocate’s report on the opioid deaths of 12 young children:
Swann stated, “This report makes it clear that our mental health and addictions care is fragmented. We are not adequately integrating families or Government agencies in the care process.
“The care we are providing is too crisis focused. We need to start investing resources in prevention and early intervention as recommended in the Valuing Mental Health Report.
“Most striking is the need to review and reform the Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act (PChAD). Young Albertans are placed in this program as a last resort. It is unclear what treatments they are given and what, if any, follow-up supports they are given.
“This is especially concerning given many patients make harmful connections at PChAD facilities that help facilitate their addiction issues. They need continued support after they leave PChAD facilities.
“I’m calling on the Justice Minister to launch a formal review of PChAD and report the results to all Albertans.
“The Progressive Conservatives created this mess with their antiquated views on addiction. The UCP made it worse by stigmatizing addictions. The NDP are failing to move quickly enough to reform the system..
“Now is the time for a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes early education, promotes prevention and fully integrates family, community, government and non-governmental services.”