The Canadian Community Epidemiological Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) is a monitoring and surveillance project that fosters and promotes networking among agencies that have common interests in local, national, and international drug trends and patterns.
Historically, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) has helped coordinate and facilitate the organization and dissemination of qualitative and quantitative information on drug use collected by local, national and international CCENDU sites and partners. CCENDU has undergone several changes since its inception in 1995; in 2007, CCSA was asked by Health Canada to revitalize the national CCENDU model to make it more relevant and sustainable.
Click here for the CCENDU Drug Alerts and Bulletins.
Value and Vision
The information collected via CCENDU differs from that of other monitoring and surveillance activities such as national telephone surveys or treatment data collected provincially in that CCENDU sites collect data from agencies and organizations directly serving local, high-risk populations. CCENDU is intended to function as an early-warning system by disseminating this information in a timely manner to professionals working in fields related to substance use.
At the community level, CCENDU permits agencies, organizations and professionals to exchange knowledge, experience and information. For example, CCENDU allows municipal law-enforcement officers to communicate what they witness among drug-using populations to local treatment centres or homeless shelters.
At the national level, key findings from each CCENDU site are distributed among other CCENDU sites/partners across Canada. For example, by alerting an emergency room physician in Saskatoon of a new contaminant identified in heroin being consumed in Vancouver, CCENDU enables that physician to be on the lookout for negative health outcomes associated with contaminants among his or her patients.
Finally, CCENDU serves as an early-warning system at the international level through its connections with other international monitoring systems such as the Community Epidemiology Working Group in the United States and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. These connections enable CCENDU to contribute information to international networks and to distribute important information emanating from these networks to those working at the community level.
(1) To build local, provincial, national and international networks and partnerships; and
(2) To facilitate the exchange of qualitative and quantitative information on emerging drug patterns and trends that help inform policy and influence decision makers by:
- conducting ongoing data collection and monitoring activities; and
- continuously reporting key findings.
CCSA will continue to work with existing and new sites to revitalize the CCENDU network. CCENDU sites will work towards common approaches to collecting and reporting information.