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Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

This page collects CCSA resources about young people and substance use that could be useful to educators.

When it comes to alcohol and other drugs, students, like educators, want the facts. Young people across Canada tell us that when it comes to substance use, they want to make informed decisions. They are going online with their questions. Too often, the Internet is giving them the wrong answers.

This page provides links to evidence-based resources intended to answer the questions educators and young people are asking. For example, many young people have questions about cannabis similar to the following questions:

  • Can regular or heavy use of cannabis impair adolescent brain development? (Yes)
  • Does cannabis help you to focus? (No)
  • Is cannabis less dangerous than other drugs because it is derived from plants? (No)
  • Is cannabis-impaired driving dangerous? (Yes, very)

Educators are part of a group that CCSA defines as youth allies–the people students can turn to with important questions. CCSA continues to create resources that are valuable tools for youth allies. Talking Pot with Youth: A Cannabis Communication Guide for Youth Allies, helps educators to set up a safe space for critical conversations about drug use.

The Opinions of Canadian Youth Are Important


We listened to young people when we created The Highway Home? It’s an interactive website that lets students make decisions about drug-impaired driving online and not on the road.

You can link to the Youth and Emerging Adults section of our website for information on what youth need to know about the consequences of drug and alcohol use.

The Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis report looks at the opinions Canadian youth have about cannabis. It addresses the misconceptions youth have about this substance. The report also examines the current gaps in cannabis research and the best methods to move forward to prevent cannabis use.

Parents, teachers and youth can find accurate information on the effects of cannabis use in this valuable resource.

We are proud to provide practical, scientific information for young people to make informed choices, and for educators to guide them on their learning journey.

Resources Developed by Partners

The Cannabis Café: Education and Harm Reduction Initiative is a resource for post-secondary students that aims to facilitate meaningful and evidence informed conversations about cannabis. A direct result of research conducted through the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary, it was developed in consultation with students, researchers, clinicians and campus-based mental health providers. The Cannabis Café program consists of three main activities: trivia, World Café discussion and goal setting.

The Cannabis Café Facilitator’s Guide provides supporting materials so that others can replicate this initiative at their location or institution. It includes a brief summary of relevant background information on cannabis, along with recommendations for delivering the initiative and a satisfaction survey.

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