Community Drug Action Committee in the Spotlight

 

Leduc AB –  When you thought a Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce report would start with a business topic, you find yourself confronted with the statement that the sponsor of this monthly event was not a business entity per say, but in fact a “good cause” that deserves exposure, and kudos.
The LEDUC COMMUNITY DRUG ACTION COMMITTEE was the sponsor of the April Chamber Luncheon held at the Best Western Denham Inn, and after the usual words of welcome, blessing by Pastor Grant McDowell and a special introduction by the Chamber’s Executive Director Stefanie Schultz of two candidates of the Alberta Race, George Rogers and David Stasiewich, the sponsor was introduced, and its representative Heather Graham came to the podium.   An initiative by the City of Leduc, this committee was awarded a grant last year following it successful intervention in the regional battle against nefarious drugs introduced and distributed in our communities and schools a few years back: it now continues its dynamic fight against drugs in our community, and substance abuse in the regional workforce.  Heather was an articulate and passionate spokesperson for a group that works tirelessly at reducing the costly effects of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace.
Ms Graham introduced the topic of Lunch & Learns: lunchtime workshops that delve into substance use and dependency in the workplace- facilitated by Alberta Health Prevention Services, Kids & Drugs, a parent’s guide to prevention – facilitated by the Leduc Community Drug Action Committee, and Addictions & Family violence - supported by  Leduc Victim Services and the City of Leduc FCSS.
A free workshop will be hosted on May 9th at the Executive Royal Inn, from 9 to 11:30 am.  Registration is a must, through contact with Heather Graham at 780.980.7184 or via email, hgraham@leduc.ca.
Ms Graham’s interesting and fact-filled presentation was followed by another presentation on the same topic by Ian Sanderson, manager of Security Administration, Risk Safety & Security for Northlands.  A retired RCMP officer, Mr. Sanderson is very familiar with the City of Leduc and region, as he was an active participant in the battle against drugs in our community in the recent past.  
Supported by a visual presentation of facts and statistics, Mr. Sanderson stated that the issue at hand is the cost to the economy of drug and alcohol use in the workplace: $40 Billion for Canada, and $4.4 Billion for Alberta.  Tobacco, drugs and alcohol use have direct impacts on the cost of health care, cause low productivity and other employee costs, and incur more costs through cops, courts and corrections.
He shared that in Ontario, the Auditor General presented a finding of a 565% ROI (return on investment) for making addiction treatment easily accessible to employees (supported by Ontario Mental Health Association reports).  An obvious conclusion of years of tracking by the Canadian workplace watchdogs is that some of the impacts of alcohol and drug use in the workforce are accidents, illness, absenteeism, theft and trafficking, employee morale, productivity and legal liabilities.  Towards positive results, the focus then is on prevention and safety in the workplace.  There is an initiative in place called EFAP, Employee & Family Assistance Plan, where one of the key points is confidential assessment of employee problems and referral to appropriate resources.  
All in all, this topic and these two presentations were informative to all the business operators present at the Leduc Regional Chamber Luncheon, and although this sensitive situation might not affect a majority of local business owners, it is important to all of us to be reminded of these facts, so that the business community can wholeheartedly support the cause of the city-funded Leduc Community Drug Action Committee.  The links to these presentations will be made available on the Chamber’s website, at Leduc-chamber.com.
To conclude the monthly luncheon, several announcements were made, such as the Black Gold Health Foundation thanking the community for its generous support towards the construction of two family care suites at the Leduc Hospital and still looking for the final $25,000 to complete this project: the Leduc Fire Services planning the FireFit Competition for later this year, and seeking sponsors on different levels.   Also, the reminder that the Black Gold Rodeo Parade is taking place June 2 and that the Provincial Candidates Forum is planned for April 12 at the Maclab Centre.  The Telus Cup National trophy was in the house, eliciting excitement at the upcoming midget tournament, hosted in Leduc April 23-29.  Community members are encouraged to visit the Chamber’s website for other announcements and updates. 
 
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