An Act of Parliament created the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) in 1988 as a non-governmental organization to provide national leadership on substance use and to advance solutions to address alcohol- and other drug-related harms.
Focused on the Future: Strategic Plan 2021–2026 is CCSA’s guide to the next five years of working toward a healthier Canadian society by reducing the harms of problematic substance use. We are committed to fostering understanding and creating awareness of substance use issues. That is what Canadians expect of us.
To develop our strategic plan, we listened to more than 240 stakeholders across the country. We wanted to know what Canadians wanted from CCSA. We wanted to hear directly from experts about how we could improve our work and continue to deliver tangible, value-added tools and resources for those on the front line. As a national organization, we take collaborations with other Canadian scientists and service providers seriously. We heard from policy makers at all levels of government. We consulted with law enforcement. We spoke with people with lived and living experience of substance use.
As we implement our strategic plan, we will keep our two overarching North Star outcomes in clear focus, improving wellness for those experiencing the harms of substance use through:
- An accessible, inclusive continuum of quality services and supports; and
- Evidence-informed responses that reduce substance use harms.
Focused on the Future: Strategic Plan 2021–2026 has three strategic goals and accompanying priorities:
- Advancing knowledge by synthesizing research;
- Driving collaboration efforts across Canada; and
- Bridging the gap between what we know and what we do.
Moving forward, we will continue to actively solicit input, guidance and counsel for our work. At CCSA, we want to make our evidence-informed publications and tools more accessible, timely and relevant to what is happening in the field. While doing this, we will ensure that we hear from many different voices, and tailor our resources for specific audiences to provide the greatest impact.
Read Focused on the Future: Strategic Plan 2021–2026 to learn more about our objectives for the next five years.
We provide guidance to decision makers through harnessing the power of research, collecting and organizing knowledge, and bringing together diverse perspectives. The organization holds a unique position through developing different partnerships with not-for-profit associations, government agencies — especially public health and law enforcement — and industry. A volunteer board of directors governs the Centre.
CCSA reports to Parliament through the Minister of Health. Four strategic directions guide the Centre’s activities:
- Creating and sustaining partnerships to mobilize individual and collective efforts;
- Fostering a knowledge exchange environment where evidence and research guide policy and practice;
- Developing evidence-informed actions to enhance effectiveness in the field; and
- Fostering organizational excellence and innovation.
CCSA ensures that our areas of focus align with CCSA’s Strategic Framework and Values. We also consult with our partners and others in the substance use field to identify:
- National priorities listed in the National Framework for Action
- Gaps in knowledge and practical resources
- Evidence-informed solutions
Based on consultation with partners and to ensure our evidence is accurate and inclusive, we have proudly committed to fully integrating sex- and gender-based analysis+ into our work.
CCSA’s Commitment to the Health and Well-Being of Indigenous People and Communities
At CCSA, we are committed to:
- Supporting the health and wellness priorities of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
- Addressing health and health inequities related to substance use in Indigenous communities.
- Dismantling racist systems, policies and beliefs by acknowledging that racism and discrimination toward Indigenous people exist.
- Strengthening the organizational culture at CCSA and leading by example with our partners.
- Soliciting and incorporating Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous ways of knowing into our work.
Additional details about the commitment from the organization to the health and well-being of Indigenous People and Communities can be found online.
Our areas of focus include the following substances and issues.
Substances and Addiction:
- Prescription drugs
- Substance Use in Canada
- Treatment, Support and Recovery
Health and Public Safety:
People and Communities:
- Adverse Childhood Experience
- Lived and Living Experience
- National Addictions Awareness Week
- Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis+
- Youth and Emerging Adults