Brief Summaries - Substance Abuse Prevention Projects - Atlantic


When examining the pathways of young people, it has been established that early, persistent delinquent behaviour accompanied by substance abuse, is a strong predictor of adult criminal behaviour. When combined with increases in the rates of self-reported problem use of illegal substances and higher levels of acceptance of drug use among youth, concerns from a crime prevention perspective are warranted. (for more information, see

As a result of these linkages, the NCPC supports projects that include addressing and preventing substance abuse.

The following brief project descriptions provide information on some of the projects funded by the NCPC in the Atlantic region between 2009-2014 that, to varying degrees, worked to prevent substance abuse as a risk factor for criminal behaviour.

These projects may help inspire those concerned about these issues and provide a way to explore approaches to prevention that will be a good fit in communities.

Organization: The O.N.E. Change Inc.
Project Title: O.N.E. Change Youth Inclusion Program
Duration: April 15, 2010 – January 15, 2014

This project is based upon the Youth Inclusion Program (YIP), a program that seeks to reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour in high-risk neighbourhoods by creating a safe place where youth can go to learn new skills, take part in pro-social activities and get help with their educational and other social needs.

The YIP program has been modified for implementation in the Old North End area of Saint John, New Brunswick, a marginalized neighbourhood in need of a concerted and coordinated response to delinquent and criminal behaviour by youth. The project addresses four specific risk factors: substance abuse; poor school attachment; inadequate parental engagement; and lack of recreational activities.

Each year, the project will reach approximately 50 youth aged 11-15, identified as being at high risk of offending. Four mutually reinforcing program components are delivered: programming for youth (academic and non-academic); individual case management; programming for the parents / guardians of participating youth; and engagement/ involvement by other youth-serving partners / agencies in the community.

For more information on the Youth Inclusion Program, visit:

The O.N.E. Change Inc.
75 Adelaide Street
Saint John, NB
E2K 1W4
Tel: 506-635-2035
Fax: 506-632-1785

Organization: Bridges of Canada Inc.
Project Title: Victory Centre Residential Treatment Program
Program: Crime Prevention Action Fund
Duration: October 2009 – December 31, 2012

This project delivers a faith-based intervention to prevent re-offending among adult males aged 18 to 45 years who have substance abuse problems and criminal histories, but are not currently under correctional jurisdiction. Although based in Fredericton, participants may also be referred from other communities throughout Atlantic Canada.

Participants are offered a comprehensive, six to eight month community residential treatment program. Modules include instruction and life skills training related to substance abuse, anger management, addiction relapse prevention, healthy relationships counselling, and employment counselling and support.

The project supports and manages post-warrant reintegration into the community in a manner that reduces the risk of individuals returning to former negative lifestyle patterns and peer influences that may lead to criminal activity. Participation is voluntary and referrals are made in collaboration with Correctional Service Canada (CSC), provincial probation staff, police, social service providers, chaplains, and through self-referral.

All components are delivered using one or more of the following approaches: case management; group work; individual counselling; mentoring; peer support; and the establishment of alternative social networks. Since a primary focus of the intervention is to address substance abuse and addiction, some components will also employ a 12-Step Recovery model.

Bridges of Canada Inc.
163 St. John Street
P.O. Box 3414, Station B
Fredericton, NB
E3A 5H2
Tel: 506-443-9960 / 1-866-867-7294 (toll free)
Fax: 506-443-9969

Organization: Nunatsiavut Government, Department of Health and Social Development
Project Title: Mapping the Way in Labrador Aboriginal Communities
Program: Northern and Aboriginal Crime Prevention Fund
Duration: June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2014

Mapping the Way in Labrador Aboriginal Communities delivers timely and appropriate interventions to at-risk and vulnerable Inuit and Innu children, youth, young adults and their parents in four isolated Aboriginal communities in Labrador: Nain, Hopedale, Natuashish and Sheshatshiu. The crime trends in these areas are primarily related to the social impacts of alcohol, drug and solvent abuse. Other risk factors indicating social distress include the continuing loss of culture, high rates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), suicide and geographic isolation leading to social marginalization.

Through this project, a direct and culturally appropriate evidence-based intervention is being delivered to participants with alcohol, drug and substance abuse related problems. Violent behaviour related to intergenerational trauma, social distress and mental health contribute to the vulnerability of individuals and are also addressed by the project.

Mobile interdisciplinary teams of clinical social service professionals visit each community to deliver interventions and organize, train and support local wellness teams consisting of professionals and para-professionals living in the communities. This approach transfers knowledge and increases the capacity of local communities to deliver sustainable interventions beyond the end of the project, resulting in ongoing positive impacts on participating Aboriginal communities.

Nunatsiavut Government Department of Health and Social Development
P O Box 496, Station C
Happy Valley–Goose Bay, NL
A0P 1C0
Tel: 709-896-9750
Fax: 709-896-9751

Organization: Waypoints
Project Title: Youth Employment Skills and Mentoring
Duration: January 19, 2009 – April 20, 2012

The Youth Employment Skills and Mentoring project was designed for youth aged 12–17 who are at risk of criminal involvement, and young adults aged 18–21 who have already been convicted of an offence and are at risk of re-offending. The risk factors addressed include early substance abuse, anti-social and criminal behaviour and poor school attachment and performance.

This project delivered five components to address the identified risk factors: structured workplace mentoring; job skills instruction; life/social skills training; drug education; and educational supports. Structured workplace mentoring involves mentors selected from various workplaces in the community who are matched with the young people based on interests, strengths, and compatibility. Job skills instruction is delivered through individual or group coaching and mentoring by the Project Manager. Sessions focus on teamwork, organizational skills, ability to be punctual and reliable, people skills, computer skills, resume writing, and other general employment skills.

Life/social skills training places emphasis on communication, problem solving, social skills and substance abuse prevention. Drug education sessions consist of workshops on the physical and psychological effects of various types of drugs, the stages of addiction, and prevention of relapse. Tutoring and ongoing education offers support and knowledge which reinforce the resiliency of project participants.

145 LeMarchant Road
St. John's, NL
A1C 2H3
Tel: 709-368-6390
Fax: 709-368-6121

Organization: Community Youth Network
Project Title: The Velocity Adventure Program
Duration: March 9, 2009 – February 28, 2014

The Velocity Adventure Program (Velocity) was a response to the increasing rates of substance abuse in St. John's, Newfoundland. Youth who were 13–17 years of age and at risk of criminal involvement due to their use of drugs and alcohol were the focus of this intervention. The project consisted of three main components, which included: a group-building process, a 7-day adventure camp and follow-up support (Engage–Connect–Shift Component).

The group-building component focused on strengthening life skills, fostering mutual respect and building a team environment. Participants learned about program expectations, received training in general skills to prepare for the camp experience, and established relationships with their peers and leaders. The 7-day adventure camp provided youth with the opportunity to participate in adventure-based activities that are designed to assist them in acquiring life skill competencies and enhance personal development. The camp also provided experiential learning through outdoor adventure. Therapeutic and holistic components were also designed to promote health and wellness.

The “engage–connect–shift” continuum created an opportunity for staff to reach youth participants both individually and in group settings. All the components were designed to increase youth access to services and to provide meaningful opportunities to address those risk factors that were most prevalent in their lives.

For more information on the Velocity Adventure Program, visit:

Community Youth Network, St. John's
12 - 16 Carter's Hill Place, PO Box 26067
St. John's, NL A1E 0A5
Tel: 709-754-0536
Fax: 709-754-0842

Organization: Chebucto Communities Development Association
Project Title: Seeds of Change Youth Inclusion Program
Duration: September 1, 2009 – November 30, 2012

This project was based on the Youth Inclusion Program (YIP), an approach designed to reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour in high-risk neighbourhoods by creating a safe place where youth can go to learn new skills, take part in pro-social activities with peers, and get help with their education and other identified needs. The project responded to the identified need for intervention to reduce the level of youth crime, specifically drug crime in Spryfield, where local residents, merchants and business owners had expressed concern over violence, property damage, drug abuse and drug trafficking. The participant group consisted of youth between 14–18 years of age who were at risk of criminal involvement due to drug use.

The project involved three main programs: a school attachment program that included tutoring, identifying and recovering school credits from previous years and recreation opportunities; a behaviour modification program consisting of life skills development, drug resistance and conflict resolution training; and a parent training program with sessions designed to strengthen parenting skills and improve parent/child relationships and family communication.

For more information on the Youth Inclusion Program, visit:

Chebucto Communities Development Association
16 Dentith Road, #52
Halifax, NS
B3R 2H9
Tel: 902-477-0964
Fax: 902-479-1177

Organization: The Adventure Group Inc.
Project Title: Moving Forward
Duration: June 1, 2009 – August 31, 2012

This project was designed to address risk factors such as substance abuse, lack of life skills and lack of access to social services among women, aged 18–30, who had been identified as being at risk of offending or at risk of re-offending. The project included the coordination of access to services, individual coaching and individual and group skills-building.

This initiative was in response to the difficulties women at risk of offending have in navigating and accessing the network of services available to reduce risk factors in their lives. Participants were assisted with access to community and government services, such as substance abuse counseling and services, and behavioural counseling and crisis counseling. The coaching component of the project helped participants follow through with their Moving Forward Plan (a case management tool) and facilitated building life and employment skills. Sessions in anger management, problem-solving, coping skills, interpersonal and communication skills, decision-making and stress management were provided. The individual and group skill-building provided participants with the capacity to move forward in their personal development.

The Adventure Group
400 St. Peter's Road
Charlottetown, PEI
C1C 1L2
Tel: 902-628-8668
Fax: 902-628-3885

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