Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Media Contact

Our experts are available for speaking engagements and media interviews. Please contact us with your request.

François Gagnon, PhD
Senior Scientist and Special Policy Advisor

Areas of Expertise: 

François’ areas of expertise include public policies, legal frameworks, harm reduction programs and services, alcohol, cannabis, gambling, tobacco and nicotine, and controlled substances.


François joined the team of CCSA as a Senior Scientist and Special Policy Advisor in February 2024. He was previously a scientific advisor at the National Public Health Institute of Quebec for 17 years, specializing in public policy. 

François is a distinguished member of the French  Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and serves on the editorial board of the journal Drogues, santé et société.

His expertise lies in conducting research and developing policy frameworks to optimize public health outcomes. He has examined the challenges of the legalization of cannabis, finding viable alternatives to the criminalization of drug possession and the limiting of alcohol advertising. He has also worked on improving harm reduction services, such as community naloxone programs, safe injection services and drug checking.

François earned his bachelor of scient in criminology and PhD in communication sciences from the University of Montreal. 

During his downtime, he enjoys spending time with his partner, his two girls and his friends. When his favourite people become too much to handle, François enjoys escaping on his bicycle and watching his speed and distance numbers creep up. 

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