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From CBC News–The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth has seen a significant jump in the number of youth addiction cases it has dealt with over the last five years, and is calling on the provincial government to put more funds toward support and resources.

In 2018 and 2019, just three per cent of the office’s cases were related to youth addictions. That number increased to 22 per cent in 2022 and 2023, Manitoba’s advocate Sherry Gott announced at a news conference Tuesday.

“Children, youth and young adults are increasingly struggling with addiction issues,” Gott said at the advocate’s office in Winnipeg. “Some are losing their lives.”

Most of those cases involved girls and Indigenous youth, Gott said. Over the course of those five years, 56 youth deaths were related to possible drug overdose or drug- or alcohol-related incidents, she added.

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