The National Anti-Drug Strategy was launched in October 2007. Through the Strategy, the Government of Canada contributes to safer and healthier communities through coordinated efforts to prevent use, treat dependency and reduce production and distribution of illicit drugs.
The Strategy is a horizontal initiative, led by the Department of Justice Canada in collaboration with 11 partner federal departments and agencies. It is carried out under three action plans:
- The Prevention Action Plan, which aims to prevent illicit drug use;
- The Treatment Action Plan, which aims to treat those with drug dependencies; and
- The Enforcement Action Plan, which aims to combat the production and distribution of illicit drugs.
The Prevention Action Plan focuses on preventing illicit drug use among youth. It provides information to those most affected by drug use, including parents, young people, educators, law enforcement authorities, and communities.
The Prevention Action Plan:
- Funds the development and implementation of community-based interventions and initiatives to prevent illicit drug use among youth;
- Discourages illicit drug use by providing information directly to youth through the DrugsNot4Me website and Facebook page as well as to their parents and other concerned adults through the website www.nationalantidrugstrategy.gc.ca; and
- Supports development of awareness materials and provision of awareness sessions to school-age youth, parents, professionals, and other community members.
The Treatment Action Plan supports innovative approaches to treating and rehabilitating those with illicit drug addiction.
The Treatment Action Plan:
- Supports efforts to improve treatment systems, programs and services to address illicit drug dependency for at-risk youth and for drug users in high-needs areas;
- Enhances treatment and support for First Nations and Inuit;
- Supports treatment programs for youth in the justice system with drug-related problems;
- Provides support for the use of drug treatment courts, which offer an alternative to the traditional justice system for offenders who have committed non-violent crimes motivated by their addictions; and
- Supports research on new treatment models and on the consequences of illicit drug use.
The Enforcement Action Plan increases law enforcement’s capacity to proactively target organized crime involvement in illicit drug production and distribution operations. It also enhances the capacity of the criminal justice system to investigate, interdict and prosecute offenders.
The Enforcement Action Plan:
- Provides funding to the RCMP to expand its efforts to help locate, investigate and shut down organizations involved in the production and distribution of illicit drugs;
- Gives additional resources to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to provide legal advice to law enforcement at the investigative stage and to effectively prosecute those involved with the production and distribution of illicit drugs;
- Increases the number of Health Canada inspectors and investigators to ensure accurate and timely analysis of suspected illicit drugs seized by law enforcement;
- Increases the capacity of Canada Border Service Agency to inhibit the cross-border movement of precursor chemicals and illicit drugs;
- Helps law enforcement stop the flow of money that organized crime makes from the illicit drug trade;
- Improves the ability of Canadian law enforcement officials to conduct joint investigations with their United States counterparts; and
- Ensures that serious penalties are in place for serious drug crimes.
Department of Justice Canada