Since its launch in 2005, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction has produced a series of researched and reviewed articles by experts in relevant fields in an effort to target policy makers, program development personnel, researchers, educators, and health professionals and bring awareness to policies and practices around substance abuse in Canada. Each volume of the series is reviewed and analyzed using current research evidence, as well as guided by the CCSA’s Scientific Advisory Council. Following is a summary of the CCSA’s publications.
In April of 2018, the CCSA published Substance Use in Canada, Improving Quality of Life: Substance Use and Aging, which summarizes with the best available evidence how to prevent, identify, assess, and treat problematic substance use in older adults. Canadians over the age of 55 make up the fastest growing subgroup in our country’s population, and April 2018’s issue highlights the necessity for the Canadian health care system to adapt to their specific needs.
June 2015’s issue, The Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence, highlights the importance of heightening awareness and having informed discussions about the effects of cannabis on Canadian youth, particularly as it impacts their educational, occupational, and social development. This publication also discusses links between marijuana and mental illness, cognitive safety hazards for impaired drivers, and addiction and treatment alternatives.
In June of 2014, the CCSA published Childhood and Adolescent Pathways to Substance Use Disorders, which outlines that the time at which prevention methods can have the most impact is during childhood and adolescence. This article also highlights early risk factors and behaviours that may indicate a potential for future substance use, as well as shares methods by which preventative resiliency and protection can be taught. This article asks parents and educators to recognize their roles in helping to identify risk factors among their children and to take the necessary steps to address them. Additionally, this article calls for more research—particularly in the field of neurobiological sciences—so that early life experiences can be linked to later outcomes in regards to future and problematic substance use.
In November of 2013, Licit and Illicit Drug Use during Pregnancy: Maternal, Neonatal and Early Childhood Consequences was published, which takes a closer look at the impacts of substance use on women, and particularly women who are pregnant. This issue outlines the necessity of comprehensive treatment for women and pregnant women including counseling, medication-assisted treatment, parenting resources, housing, employment, and transportation. This article also discusses the negative stigma society holds toward people with substance use problems, and the barrier this creates between pregnant women and their access to problematic substance use treatment.
Finally, April of 2010 saw the publication of Concurrent Disorders, which highlights the need for both integrated and coordinated treatment plans for Canadians who suffer from concurrent disorders and also the need for a shared educational space for training and skills development for caregivers working amongst this segment of Canada’s population. Additionally, this issue illustrates the special attention required by children and adolescents in order to implement early intervention and prevent substance use and mental health problems from developing during this stage of life.
Click here for a full list of the articles.