Canada's anti-drug strategy helpful, but incomplete, says Canadian Executive Council on Addictions

    TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Executive Council on
Addictions, a national organization of senior executives of addiction agencies
across Canada, says it welcomes the federal government's commitment to
improving addiction treatment in Canada, but expressed concern that some of
the most significant substance abuse issues remain unaddressed.
    "We are grateful for the government's commitment to increased investment
in addiction services," said Gail Czukar, Executive Vice President of the
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and President of CECA.
"Addiction services are in critical need of increased support from
    Ms. Czukar cautioned that the increased resources for law enforcement,
and increased penalties for drug trafficking, will not help address the most
significant harms associated with substance use in Canada: the contribution of
alcohol to addiction, chronic disease and injuries. The problem of legally
produced but illegally used pharmaceutical drugs should also be addressed in a
federal approach to substance abuse.
    "A comprehensive drug strategy should not ignore the harmful consequences
of alcohol use," said Ms. Czukar.
    CECA was also pleased to hear the Prime Minister indicate that decisions
about strategies to reduce harms from substance abuse would be based on facts.
"The evidence is that in countries where harm reduction is an explicit part of
a broader strategy on drugs, human health is improved and communities are
safer without promoting the use of illicit drugs", said Ms. Czukar. "We will
continue to work with the federal government to ensure that the most effective
and proven drug strategies are evaluated and supported."

    About CECA

    CECA is a national, non-governmental organization of senior executives of
addiction agencies across Canada. CECA provides a forum for discussion and
collaborative efforts to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and drugs,
strengthens the knowledge of Canadian addiction executives to improve
addiction services across Canada, and provides proactive advice on substance
abuse issues to all orders of government in Canada.
    CECA members include the British Columbia Mental Health and Addiction
Services; Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia; Alberta Alcohol
and Drug Abuse Commission; Saskatchewan Mental Health and Addictions Services;
Addictions Foundation of Manitoba; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health;
Community, Children's, Mental Health and Addictions Services of Newfoundland;
Addiction Prevention and Treatment Services of Nova Scotia; and the Canadian
Centre on Substance Abuse.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Gail Czukar,
contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations Coordinator, (416) 595-6015

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