Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Canada’s Premier Conference on Substance Use and Addiction Begins Monday in Ottawa; Chief Public Health Officer of Canada To Provide Opening Remarks

Ottawa, November 22, 2019 — Canada is dealing with an ongoing opioid crisis. New cannabis products are ready to hit store shelves next month. Methamphetamine use is increasing in the prairies. As we face these challenges, renowned experts and leaders will converge on the nation’s capital next week to share their knowledge at Canada's only national conference focusing on substance use and addiction.

Issues of Substance is presented by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA). The sold out event — which takes place during National Addiction Awareness Week — runs from November 25–27, 2019 at the Westin Ottawa Hotel. There will be over 650 delegates in attendance.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will open the conference on Monday morning. Dr. Tam will speak about her concern over stigma as a barrier to seeking and receiving treatment.

This National Addictions Awareness Week, I hope that you will join me in taking a stand to declare that 'Stigma Ends with Me,'" declares Dr. Tam. "Those who are harmed by substance use are among the most stigmatized groups in our society, and we must reach out with respect and compassion to ensure they have access to treatments, supports and services that will meet their needs. Including the voices of Canadians with lived and living experience is vital to working collaboratively to find appropriate evidence-based approaches to address this complex problem."

During the three day event, more than 100 presentations will be given and 90 posters will be presented, showcasing the latest research on substance use and addiction.

"At a time when the news is dominated by the harms of the opioid crisis and national attention is acutely focused on cannabis, CCSA’s Issues of Substance brings together Canada’s most informed voices to speak on cutting-edge research and personal experiences," explains Dr. Amy Porath, CCSA director of research and conference program chair. "The presentations in the conference program demonstrate the challenges we are currently facing, but also convey a passion and determination to find solutions for them."

CCSA is pleased to have the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) as a national partner for our event this year. As part MHCC's involvement, there will be a strong component in the conference program addressing the links between mental health, substance use and addiction.

As Dr. Porath explains, having MHCC as a national partner is a natural fit for this event. “There are just so many areas where mental health, substance use and addiction tie into each other. It made absolute sense to have MHCC as a key contributor at this event. The concurrent sessions on Tuesday morning, as well as many of the posters presented during the conference, will feature the intersections of substance use and mental health."

Learn more about CCSA's Issues of Substance 2019 and view the program at

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