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article imageURL-TV combines drug info with life skills for teens

By KJ Mullins     Oct 28, 2010 in Entertainment
On Halloween Canada's youth are getting more than just treats, the first online healthy lifestyle television channel for youth aged 10 to 24, featuring programs for youth and by youth on everything from cooking and budgeting to bullying and drugs airs.
URL-TV's goal is to help youth make healthy choices and stay drug free. That is a heady task considering 60 percent of Canadian youth engage in illegal drug use. The average age of some high-risk groups is only 11 for the first time they use drugs.
"To communicate to today's youth, you have to be online," says Michel Perron, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), a national not-for-profit organization working to reduce the harm from alcohol and drug use. "That's why we created www.Xperiment.ca and now URL-TV."
Having information simply isn't enough to fight drug use with youth, research has found. Skills are needed to aid prevention.
"We need to help youth improve their self-esteem, their decision-making abilities, and their ties to their families and communities. If they do, they'll be less likely to get involved with drugs," says Perron.
CCSA partnered with Mad Moose Television to produce URL-TV. The approach isn't the old school 'just say no' but more involved for today's media savvy youth.
One of the programs, Home Alone Zone is designed to fill those hours between school and when parents get home from work. Not only does it show students how to cook some awesome snacks to fill up with in that time but important skills like shopping on a limited budget. The special Halloween launch show will feature how to make 'smokers' lungs' out of pudding and cookie crumbs.
Xperiment.ca and URL-TV are part of a CCSA-led Drug Prevention Strategy for Canada's Youth, a five-year initiative that aims to reduce illicit drug use by Canadian youth aged 10 to 24. The Strategy involves stakeholders from across the country in all provinces and territories and is funded through the federal government's National Anti-Drug Strategy.
More about Drug prevention, Canada, Youth, Channel, Url-tv
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