National Drug and Addictions Awareness Week sets the stage for CCSA's Issues of Substance 2007 conference, Nov. 25-28

    OTTAWA, Nov. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - One of the key aims of National Drug and
Addictions Awareness Week(*), which winds up Nov. 24, is to inform Canadians
about new ideas and strategies for addressing the harmful effects of alcohol
and other drug use. Timed to extend the impact of this annual awareness event,
Canada's premiere forum for highlighting innovative developments in the
substance abuse field runs from Nov. 25 to 28 as the Canadian Centre on
Substance Abuse (CCSA) presents its biennial Issues of Substance conference in
    Presented by CCSA in partnership with the Canadian Executive Council on
Addictions (CECA) and supported by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Commission (AADAC), Issues of Substance 2007 is now sold out, with a
capacity-plus crowd of 950 delegates expected to attend from across Canada and
as far away as Sydney, Australia.
    The packed three-day conference program features 56 concurrent sessions
and more than 150 speakers, in addition to poster sessions by 45 presenters,
plenary sessions and keynote addresses by Dr. Mark Kleiman, professor of
public policy at UCLA, and Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, director of the Pierre
Elliott Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of
    The following topics are among the many themes slated for discussion
during IOS 2007:

    National Alcohol Strategy. Alcohol use-long taken for granted by the
majority of Canadians - is emerging as a target of growing concern, especially
among younger Canadians. IOS 2007 participants will receive a progress report
on Canada's new National Alcohol Strategy, Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm in
Canada: Toward a Culture of Moderation, released in August, 2007. More than 30
of the report's 41 recommendations are already moving toward implementation by
governments, NGOs and industry associations.

    National Treatment Strategy. Canada is experiencing a shortfall in
substance abuse and addictions treatment with only 10% of those in need of
intervention actually getting access to specialized services. A National
Treatment Strategy Working Group, broadly representative of Canada's treatment
and research community, has been meeting since March to develop a
comprehensive report with recommendations for improving substance abuse
treatment in Canada. Participants at IOS 2007 will hear a progress report on
the initiative as it moves toward completion by mid-2008.

    Sustaining Workforce Development. A 2004 CCSA survey revealed a
long-neglected demand for more professional development opportunities within
the specialized substance abuse workforce. CCSA responded by assembling a
national advisory group on workforce development, creating Canada's first
online resource for substance abuse professionals (, and
drafting a set of core competencies outlining the skills and knowledge
required for effective service delivery in the field. Participants at IOS 2007
will see version 1.0 of the Core Competencies for Canada's Substance Abuse
Field and will have an opportunity to begin working with the competencies in
their own work environment.

    National Framework for Action. The three topics outlined above are among
13 priorities identified in the National Framework for Action, a broad,
collaborative effort to build capacity in the substance abuse field and
achieve consensus on national priorities. Endorsed so far by 43 provincial,
non-governmental and industry organizations across Canada, the Framework has
become a primary mechanism for moving forward on substance abuse issues. A
number of IOS 2007 presentations will be devoted to other Framework
priorities, including a focus on children and youth, reaching out to Canada's
North, and supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

    Issues of Substance 2007 concludes with a series of facilitated
workshop-style discussions on the theme of "Shaping the Future". Conference
participants will have an opportunity to discuss and debate the new ideas they
have been exposed to during the conference, and to reflect on how these
innovations can be applied to their own work.

    (*) EDITORS: Please go to for a round-up of National Drug and
    Addictions Awareness Week activities across Canada, and for more complete
    details on Issues of Substance 2007, including information on media

    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, (613) 235-4048, ext. 243,
mobile: (613) 291-9165,

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Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

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