OTTAWA, Jan. 28, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), alongside individuals and organizations from across Canada, held a first-ever National Summit on Addiction Recovery in Ottawa on January 27–28, 2015, to shine light on the very important issue of recovery from substance use disorders.
The Summit brought together approximately 50 committed delegates representing front-line service providers, the research community and addictions organizations to focus on changing the conversation about addiction away from the problem, towards celebrating the solution. Discussions centred on establishing a vision for Canada on addiction recovery, which involves raising awareness, addressing stigma and highlighting how recovery can improve the lives of individuals, enhance the well-being of families, and create stronger workplaces and communities across the country. This message was reinforced in remarks to Summit participants made by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, on Tuesday, January 27.
A new vision for recovery is important because in 2012 the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) found that 4.4% of Canadians met the criteria for a substance use disorder. However, accessing care and treatment can be challenging. Treatment works, yet barriers exist to timely and effective supports and services. These barriers include a fragmented system of care, a lack of services in rural areas and for subpopulations such as youth and minorities, wait lists and wait times, and a need for more medical detox facilities — not to mention societal stigma. Furthermore, the current system can be complex and difficult to navigate, especially for someone who is struggling with an illness.
Participants worked together to develop a collective vision of a made-in-Canada approach that will bring a recovery focus to policies, practices and programs for the millions of Canadians who suffer from substance use disorders. This greater pan-Canadian focus on recovery will help to improve care, so that those with addiction can receive the same quality of services and supports that are available to those with other chronic illnesses.
Signed at a ceremony in Ottawa today, the resulting National Commitment to Recovery from the Disease of Addiction in Canada puts forth a common vision for recovery, as well as overarching principles to guide a strength-based recovery approach to substance use disorders in Canada. Primarily, the National Commitment speaks to recognizing addiction as a health condition that deserves an evidence-based range of services, supports and tools that will help make recovery an attainable and sustainable reality.
The National Summit on Addiction Recovery was organized by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, in partnership with AnnMarie McCullough and Ann Dowsett Johnston of Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Canada, and Marshall Smith of Cedars at Cobble Hill. The event was made possible in part through funding from Health Canada.
"Canadians deserve the same quality care for a substance use disorder that they would receive for any other health issue. This Summit is a catalyst for bringing addiction out of the shadows and highlighting the changes we need in our healthcare system and across all of society. Every door opened should lead to help in getting the needed care and treatment, no matter where that door is opened. That is why CCSA works every day to give front-line professionals the evidence-based information, tools and resources they need to ensure recovery is an attainable and sustainable reality for those with a substance use disorder."
Chief Executive Officer (interim)
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
"We are jumpstarting a national dialogue about recovery. The era of stigmatization must end."
Ann Dowsett Johnston
Journalist and Author of Drink
CEO, Pine River Foundation
"There are millions of Canadians living in short- and long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, and thousands more get well from this disease every year, proving that recovery is both possible and sustainable. Those living in long-term recovery are evidence that this serious health problem can be overcome, and that there are real solutions available for individuals, families and workplaces who are dealing with this disease."
Director, Corporate Development and Community Relations
Cedars at Cobble Hill
"We have entered the age of recovery. Canadians must join together to build awareness, challenge societal stigma, and celebrate the role that recovery plays in improving the lives of individuals, families and communities. Recovery saves lives — and we are the living proof."
National Director of Business Development,
Edgewood Health Network
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society. We partner with public, private and non-governmental organizations to improve the health and safety of Canadians.
CCSA activities and products are made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada. The views of CCSA do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
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