The NWT will use $1 million in new federal funding to try to address the territory’s significant problems with alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
The money – spread over five years – will be spent on engagement with Indigenous groups and communities and a public awareness campaign.
Eventually, the territory says, that work will lead to the development of an alcohol strategy.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing substance abuse. It is only by working with Indigenous governments and communities on a coordinated approach to take action on alcohol and substance misuse that we will be able to see progress on addressing this serious public health issue,” said health minister Julie Green in a statement.
“This federal investment will support this coordinated approach to protecting the health and safety of our residents and communities. “
The latest NWT addictions survey, completed in 2018, showed a third of respondents were smokers. Around half of men and 39 percent of women reported heavy drinking at least once a month (defined as four or more drinks in a session for women, and five or more for men).
Sixteen percent of the survey’s respondents had used cocaine at least once.