Good news for Canada's substance abuse workforce at CCSA's Issues of Substance 2007 conference, Nov. 25-28

    EDMONTON, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's substance abuse workforce will
get some much-needed support today on the second full day of Issues of
Substance (IOS) 2007, Canada's premiere gathering of substance abuse and
addictions professionals. Presented by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
(CCSA), IOS 2007 will provide a high-profile platform for the release of core
competencies outlining the skills and knowledge required for effective service
delivery in the substance abuse field.
    A CCSA workforce survey published in 2005 revealed a demand for more
career development opportunities among front-line substance abuse
professionals, and a desire for "national standards and competencies... that
can be tailored to meet the needs of provincial-territorial jurisdictions".
CCSA responded to the survey by assembling a national advisory group on
workforce development, creating Canada's first online resource for substance
abuse professionals (, and consulting broadly on a set of
job-performance standards. Version 1.0 of Core Competencies for Canada's
Substance Abuse Field will be released during a presentation on "Sustaining
Workforce Development".
    "Competencies can serve a wide variety of useful purposes in the
workforce," said Lianne Calvert, director of CCSA's Workforce Development
division, who will make the presentation. "This includes the development of
job profiles, evaluation of job performance, identification of training and
professional development requirements, and identification of succession
planning requirements."
    "Sustaining workforce development" is one of 13 priorities in the
National Framework for Action, a broad, collaborative effort to build capacity
in the substance abuse field and achieve consensus on national priorities.
Workforce development is also linked to the National Treatment Strategy, whose
objectives are rooted in another key priority of the National Framework. A
range of National Framework priorities, including Reducing Alcohol-Related
Harm in Canada: Toward a Culture of Moderation-Recommendations for a National
Alcohol Strategy, will be discussed during today's opening plenary session,
"The National Framework in Action".
    Today's agenda also includes sessions on services for people with
concurrent disorders, healing journeys of First Nations women, strengthening
families, harm reduction through the arts, reducing problematic marijuana use
in secondary schools, problem gambling, meeting the prevention and practice
needs of older adults, using national and provincial policies to reduce
alcohol-related harm, and evaluation of mandatory youth detoxification in
    Presented by CCSA in partnership with the Canadian Executive Council on
Addictions and supported by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission,
IOS 2007 opened this week to a capacity-plus crowd of 950 delegates from
across Canada and as far away as Australia. The biennial conference closes
Wednesday with a series of facilitated workshop-style discussions on the theme
of "Shaping the Future", and a closing keynote address by Dr. Thomas
Homer-Dixon, author of the best-seller, The Ingenuity Gap, and director of the
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University
of Toronto.

    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.

For further information:

For further information: Heather Wilcox, CCSA, Mobile: (613) 291-9165,

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Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

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