Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

October 12, 2010 15:50 ET

Making a Positive Impact on Reducing Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Canada: CCSA's 2009-10 Annual Report

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2010) - The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) released its 2009–10 annual report, How do you define return on investment? The report, which covers the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, was tabled Friday, October 8, 2010 in Parliament by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq in compliance with CCSA's 1988 founding legislation.

The health, social and economic impacts of substance abuse on Canadian society are enormous—approximately $40 billion annually in productivity losses and direct health care and law enforcement costs. Investing time, resources and money to effect change is an imperative both for the Canadian government and CCSA, but investments must be made wisely and yield a solid return.

But what does a return on investment in alcohol- and drug-related issues look like?

"For 20 years CCSA has worked at the national level to collect and analyze data and develop evidence-informed multi-stakeholder responses, strategies and tools for dealing with substance abuse. A return on investment for CCSA means being confident that these strategies and tools will work because they are based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices," said Dr. Anne M. Lavack, CCSA's Interim Chair of the Board. "It also means bringing together diverse groups and helping them find common ground for needed action, and seeing our partners contribute financially and in-kind toward national priorities."

Return on investment is also defined by CCSA's partners and stakeholders—practitioners, community groups and other like-focused affiliates at the provincial and federal levels. Earlier this year, they took part in a third-party evaluation of CCSA's performance; the positive results of this evaluation revealed that CCSA is relevant to the substance abuse field, continues to be effective in achieving its expected outcomes, and is implementing significant initiatives with its funding.

Highlights of CCSA's achievement in 2009–10 to help shape the system and strengthen the workforce include:

  • Canadian Standards for School-based Youth Substance Abuse Prevention: The first of its kind, this resource provides guidelines for schools, school boards, public health practitioners and addictions professionals to develop and deliver effective, evidence-informed prevention programs.
  • A drug prevention website that shows young Canadians the health and social consequences of drug use.
  • Clinical Guide for Reducing Alcohol Risks and Harms: A resource package that helps physicians identify and respond to signs of alcohol abuse in patients; it includes recommendations on delivering screening, interventions and referrals as needed for risky drinking.
  • Substance Abuse in Canada: Concurrent Disorders: A report that looks at the connections between addiction and mental illness, and includes steps to improve care and patient outcomes.

"CCSA represents the federal government's most visible investment in substance abuse. We would not have been able to achieve any of this—and more—without the funding and support of Health Canada, for which we are grateful," said Dr. Lavack. "Our ultimate goal is for all Canadians to live in a society free of the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs and substances."

Download an electronic copy of CCSA's 2009–10 Annual Report at to find out more about how our activities have delivered a positive return on investment. Printed copies are available by contacting CCSA.

About CCSA:

With a legislated mandate to reduce alcohol- and other drug-related harms, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) provides leadership on national priorities, fosters knowledge translation within the field and creates sustainable partnerships that maximize collective efforts. CCSA receives funding support from Health Canada.

Contact Information

  • CCSA
    Yasmina Pepa, Communication Advisor
    613-235-4048 ext. 276