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Addiction and Mental Health Services launches drug awareness toolkit

MIRAMICHI (January 29, 2013) - A program aimed at drug awareness for students from grades five to 12 is being launched today by Horizon Health Network's Addiction and Mental Health Services in Miramichi. The Strategic Methamphetamine Assertive Response Teams for Youth (SMARTY Plan) provides a toolkit to be incorporated into the health curriculum of local area schools.

The toolkit combines drug prevention, education and awareness and reaches out to youth, parents, guardians, teaching faculty and the community as a whole.

"Our collaborative goal is to protect the youth in our community from significant risks associated with crystal methamphetamine and recreational drug use," said Michele Bushey, social worker for Horizon Health Network Addiction and Mental Health Services in Miramichi.

The SMARTY Plan toolkit is the second phase of a collaborative effort between Addiction and Mental Health Services, the Anglophone North School Board, Miramichi Addiction Recovery Centre physicians, and the Miramichi Police Force. The first phase consisted of presentations given by physicians and the Miramichi Police Force in the schools and answering students' questions about recreational drug use. All students were provided with coloured bracelets that said "Be Smart …Don't Start" and were encouraged to share this message with their peers.

Funding for program materials was provided by the Newcastle Rotary Club and the New Brunswick Medical Society.

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For more information contact:

Lisa Caissie
Media Relations Manager
1-877-499-1899
Media@HorizonNB.ca

Horizon Health Network is the largest health-care organization in Atlantic Canada, operating 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices providing medical services ranging from acute care to community based health services to New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. With 1000 physicians, an annual budget exceeding $1 billion and approximately 13,000 employees, Horizon Health Network's strategic vision focuses on research, innovation and education.

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