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On Jan. 16, 2020, I watched CBC Compass News with interest as Ellen Taylor so rightly pointed out the lack of addiction services in P.E.I.
During Health Minister Aylward’s interview he stated that “we’re working hard to address those issues.”
He could have added that they were working even harder to promote the growth and sale of marijuana products, not to mention the drive to sell more alcohol.
It is rather ironic that the story later in the news was how well marijuana production was going in P.E.I.
Billions of dollars are being spent on the production of this mood altering, addictive drug, which has the potential to cause brain damage, yet our addiction services system is a shambles.
I’m probably not the only person that noted the size of the elaborate marijuana production facility; it looked like it would cover a couple of football fields.
Mr. Aylward stated that there were 17 beds available for alcohol addiction patients. Shameful.
On a personal note, I first received help from the treatment centre for alcoholics in the old orphanage building on University Avenue in 1974.
There was a better system in place 46 years ago with more than 17 beds available. Clearly, something is wrong here.
To Mr. Aylward’s credit, it is a problem his government inherited. Successive governments before him have done nothing to address this growing problem.
In my opinion, it is time to take a look at the direction our society is taking with regard to the promotion of drugs/alcohol and the cutback to addiction services (i.e. closure of Summerside and Souris addiction treatment centres plus the closure of the addiction research centre in Montague.)
Those have been replaced by cannabis and alcohol outlets in various location across P.E.I. It is time to speak out like Ellen.