Focus on Youth Substance Abuse Prevention
OTTAWA, Nov. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - From November 17–21, 2014, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) will join health and addiction organizations across the country in marking National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), placing a particular emphasis in 2014 on substance abuse prevention among young people.
Led nationally by CCSA, NAAW brings attention to the critical issues associated with alcohol- and other drug-related harms to individuals, families and communities across Canada. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance abuse prevention, to talk about treatment and recovery, and to bring forward solutions for change. This year, CCSA will mark each day during NAAW by placing emphasis on different substances and youth-related issues, including the use of alcohol, cannabis and prescription drugs, as well as the problem of impaired driving.
Preventing and reducing harms associated with substance use and abuse by our youth is a priority for CCSA and its many partners. A substantial amount of change and growth—including significant brain growth and development—takes place during youth. Additionally, youth 15 to 24 years of age have the highest self-reported past-year use of illicit substances compared to older Canadians, and are approximately five times more likely than adults aged 25 years and older to report harm because of drug use.
Substance use and abuse during this critical time can have impacts that persist long after the high has worn off, including chronic disease, addiction and mental health disorders. Preventing these harms is key to helping reduce the demand on an already strained treatment system. Furthermore, evidence-informed prevention and early intervention programs also reduce the cost of substance abuse to society: analysis shows reported savings of $15–$18 for every dollar spent on drug abuse prevention.
To facilitate the development of effective programs, CCSA created the Canadian Standards for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention, Canada's first national resource for schools, families and communities. The Standards provide guidance on how to plan, implement and evaluate multi-faceted prevention efforts.
Join the dialogue to help create a healthier society, free of the harms of substance abuse, by following @CCSACanada and using the hashtag #NAAWCanada to help support this year's activities and to share relevant resources over social media channels.
"Youth substance abuse prevention is important because early investments in our young people can yield long-term improvement in health, socio-economic, individual and family outcomes. Collectively committing to the well-being of our children—our future leaders—is in everyone's best interests. We look forward to celebrating the theme of youth substance abuse prevention during National Addictions Awareness Week 2014 with our many partners and stakeholders across Canada."
Chief Executive Officer (interim), Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA)
"This year's National Addictions Awareness Week theme of preventing youth substance abuse is a key focus of our Government's National Anti-Drug Strategy. We must do everything we can to prevent our children and youth from abusing drugs in the first place. This week presents an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and learn more about the harms of both legal and illegal substances."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
"We know that many young Canadians who struggle with substance misuse also experience underlying symptoms of mental disorders that go undiagnosed and untreated. Our young people and their families deserve coordinated and effective care for mental illness, including addictions. They need the information and tools that will guide them to the best care and supports."
Dr. Catherine Zahn
President and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
- 57 — the percentage of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 in Canada who have used drugs sometime in their life
- 13 — the average age at which students in grades 7 to 12 consumed their first alcoholic beverage
- 49 — the percentage of students in grades 10 to 12 that reported binge drinking in the past 12 months
- 14 — the average age at which students in grades 7 to 12 first used cannabis
- Monday, November 17 — Overview of the problem of youth substance abuse in Canada
- Tuesday, November 18 — Youth and cannabis
- Wednesday, November 19 — Focus on impaired driving, in recognition of National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims
- Thursday, November 20 — Youth and alcohol
- Friday, November 21 — Youth and prescription drug abuse and wrapping up the week's discussion with a CCSA-hosted tweet chat
To schedule an interview with a CCSA subject matter expert on youth-related substance abuse issues, please direct inquiries to [email protected].
SOURCE: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
For further information: Media Relations, Tel: 613-235-4048 x 237, [email protected]