Canadians Against Substance Abuse

Canadians Against Substance Abuse

August 17, 2007 17:00 ET

New Organization Seeks to Combat the Scourge of Drug Addiction

Founders are personally fed-up with inability to deal with substance abuse in Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2007) -

Attention News Editors:

A new national focused organization is tackling the big issues facing the country concerning substance abuse. Canadians Against Substance Abuse ( says it is in a position similar to MADD when it started raising awareness of drinking and driving. As recent news stories about drug violence show, substance abuse issues, and the devastation they cause are not managed well in Canada.

While many law enforcement, government and medical organizations work with substance abuse issues, no one organization co-ordinates disparate efforts, advocates on behalf of Canadians for change and strongly promotes awareness and action on the issue. CASA-Now's mandate is to do just that, and its hope is that actions it takes now will be similar to the grassroots movement MADD started almost 20 years ago.

CASA-Now was founded in June 2007. Its two founders have direct experience with Canada's inability to deal with drug issues and started the organization out of frustration on many levels. They are concerned about violent drug crime from the murder of Mr. Ross Hammond on Toronto's Queen Street West to a mass restaurant shooting in Vancouver on August 10 which killed two people, and according to the city's Deputy Chief of Police "has all the hallmarks of a gang shooting." However, CASA-Now is now hearing that smaller centres like Markham and Ingersoll are struggling with the very real problems presented by drug abuse and related activities, in their communities.

CASA-Now is pleased with a statement from Prime Minister Harper that says "Frankly, this constant increase we've seen in the major centres... in gun, gang and drug crime is a big concern to this government." However, CASA-Now is concerned with Statistics Canada reports that say crime is decreasing, but do not include drug crimes in their calculations. "Certainly a government that is concerned about drug crime needs to get an accurate reporting of it" says CASA-Now founder Raj Rama.

To better understand the effects substance abuse has in Canada and to begin to co-ordinate efforts to solve the issue, CASA-Now has commissioned a national quantitative study by Thinklounge Market Research, a firm that specializes in government policy work. Brian Baumal, Principal of the firm, also has a background in psychotherapy and understands the issues involved in substance abuse. The study will be funded by various corporate and public sector organizations that understand the importance of this issue on a personal and economic level. For example, CASA-Now estimates that in 2002, the Ontario economy lost $11.9 Billion in economic productivity due to drug abuse.

Contact Information

  • Canadians Against Substance Abuse
    Raj Rama
    (647) 235-5098
    Canadians Against Substance Abuse
    Ray Morand
    (647) 235-5098
    Brian Baumal
    (416) 945-9557