Calling any youth ages 18 to 30 interested in Drug Policy!

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HealthwatchTHUNDER BAY – News – The Thunder Bay Drug Strategy would like your help to plan a one-day conference scheduled to be held in November 2011.

The end goal of the conference is to start a chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) in Thunder Bay. (Check out the Canadian group at cssdp.org, and the national group at ssdp.org).

CCSDP is a grassroots network of youth and students who consider problematic drug use in society as primarily a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.

Much of the work the group conducts relates to advocating for policy reform at a national level, using evidence as a guide.  CCSDP also advocates for honest and effective drug education for youth.

Some of the core beliefs of CCSDP are as follows (adapted from their website)

  • Drugs are a Health issue
    • Policies and programs aimed at reducing the harms associated with drug use in society should address the issue as a public health concern, not as a criminal justice issue. This has been proven to be more effective by studies world-wide

Education

  • Accessibility
    • …drug education and prevention programs that meet young people where they are at, even if they are using drugs and alcohol, are the most effective.
  • Honest, open dialogue
    • Drug education is an empowerment. Young people should be provided with all the information available and encouraged to make their own decisions about their physical and mental health.
    • All education should acknowledge and respect young people’s personal experience…

Getting youth involved is the next goal of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. We know that the issue of substance use is huge in Thunder Bay youth culture. We want to make sure that youth interested in Drug Policy become involved in planning our first Youth Drug Policy Conference.  We know that credible, honest communication with youth about substance is a much better approach to drug education.  We also agree that the criminalization of drug use has extremely negative effects on youth and their health and futures.

If you are a young person interested in planning a unique conference for youth by youth, please attend the first planning meeting. The meeting is scheduled for August 4 at 2pm at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.  We will be working out workshop ideas, and securing a keynote speaker. Hope to see you there.

Patty Hajdu

Drug Strategy Coordinator TBDHU

999 Balmoral Street
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 6E7
Phone: (807) 625-5900
Toll-Free: (888) 294-6630
www.tbdhu.com

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