Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

October 13, 2009 11:11 ET

The Gathering Effect: CCSA Releases 2008-2009 Annual Report

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2009) - The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) today released its 2008-2009 annual report, The Gathering Effect, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. The report was tabled earlier in Parliament by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq in compliance with CCSA's 1988 founding legislation.

The theme for the report, The Gathering Effect, reflects CCSA's belief that reducing the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs can only be solved collectively-by amassing the strength of many by compiling knowledge, combining resources and taking action together.

In 2008, CCSA successfully advanced A Drug Prevention Strategy for Canada's Youth, a five-year multifaceted initiative funded by Canada's National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS). In addition, CCSA and its national network of partners furthered the implementation of the strategies and priorities established in the National Framework for Action On Alcohol and Other Drugs and Substances. These shared achievements were brought about through the collective effort, expertise and commitment of partners across Canada and made possible through Health Canada's ongoing and much valued financial support.

CCSA achievements in 2008-2009 included:

- Advancements in A Drug Prevention Strategy for Canada's Youth - The past year saw the launch of both Building on Our Strengths: Canadian Standards for School-based Youth Substance Abuse Prevention and key initiatives of CCSA's multifaceted national youth prevention strategy aimed at reducing illicit drug use by Canadian youth aged 10 to 24.

The School-based Standards were developed by the Canadian Standards Task Force, which comprised of substance abuse prevention experts and CCSA staff. The School-based Standards aim to strengthen the effectiveness of school-based prevention efforts and provide program developers and delivery personnel with both a performance benchmark and a practical process to refer to when planning, implementing, evaluating and monitoring substance abuse prevention activities. is an online, interactive web portal that provides youth with information on the effects of illicit drugs and their potential harms. has been viewed over 100,000 times, with almost 40 percent of visitors viewing the site's First-aid section, which provides youth with information on help-line resources available in their province or territory.

- The creation of Canada's first National Treatment Strategy (NTS) - It is estimated that only one in 10 people requiring specialized addiction services actually receive the care they need from the healthcare system. The NTS, developed by over 30 addictions professionals, provides a framework for a national treatment system that is person-centric, founded in the continuum-of-care treatment model and focused on integrating addictions treatment, social services, housing and education systems. Canadians expect the best from their healthcare system and the NTS has outlined the steps required to deliver system-level changes targeted at creating the most effective treatment for individuals affected by substance abuse.

- The release of Behavioural Competencies for Canada's Substance Abuse Field - Through consultation with over 100 substance abuse professionals from across the country, this comprehensive resource helps organizations and professionals in the substance abuse field identify the behavioural attributes required to provide the best level of service and care possible. The Behavioural Competencies are part of CCSA's Core Competencies Project, which includes 2007's Technical Competencies for Canada's Substance Abuse Field, and aims to enhance professionalism and excellence within the field. For the first time Canada now has a consensus-based national standard to help guide substance abuse professionals towards offering the very best in addictions services, from both technical and behavioural perspectives.

-Mobilizing international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through Beyond 2008 - This international effort spearheaded by CCSA brought together over 300 NGOs from 145 countries to adopt a collective declaration on how to best address global drug policy. Michel Perron, CCSA's CEO and Chair of the Beyond 2008 steering committee, spoke on behalf of NGOs at the United Nation's Commission on Narcotic Drugs High Level Segment in March 2009. In his speech to over 130 UN member states, he urged governments to work with the NGO community and to integrate the views of civil society and the declarations of Beyond 2008 with existing and future international drug policies.

"CCSA's annual report-The Gathering Effect-reflects the progress that can be made through collective action and a spirit of shared responsibility," said Dr. Anne M. Lavack, CCSA's Interim Chair of the Board. "The focus on prevention and treatment as part of a multifaceted strategy to reduce the harms of substance abuse is gaining momentum both nationally and internationally. Our collaborative success in advancing Canada's strengths in these areas, which are both central priorities of the National Framework for Action, ensures that we are moving in the right direction towards creating a system that addresses addiction with the same seriousness, breadth of care and compassion as other health issues affecting Canadians."

As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability, CCSA has once again included a Progress on Goals section in this annual report, providing a concise assessment of steps taken during 2008-2009 toward fulfillment of CCSA's Parliamentary mandate and organizational objectives.

CCSA's 2008-2009 annual report is available on the Centre's website at 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 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
    Rob Mclean
    Senior Media Relations Specialist
    613-235-4048, ext. 255