Providing the best care for people with substance use problems requires collaboration across multiple sectors such as health care, mental health, education, social services and criminal justice. However, many Canadians do not have access to the full range of services and supports they need, which extends beyond treatment into brief interventions, peer support and continuing care.
The harms being experienced during the current opioid crisis demonstrate the need for effective treatment as one component of a comprehensive strategy to address substance use.
Best Practices across the Continuum of Care for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder outlines the range of services that should be available in Canada and the standard of service that should be implemented to provide person-centred care to all people experiencing harms from opioids. This report includes a summary of actions taking place across the country at multiple levels of government to help people experiencing harms from opioids and to stop the deaths occurring from opioid poisonings.
Why treatment and ongoing supports are a priority
In the past year, 4.4% of Canadians aged 15 and older met the criteria for a substance use disorder, according to the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey.
Only a fraction of Canadians with substance use problems are accessing appropriate care in the form of evidence-informed treatment.
Stigma, gaps in services and practice inconsistencies mean that many Canadians do not receive the full spectrum of treatment or supports they need.
Approximately 75% of individuals arrive at Canadian federal corrections institutions with a serious substance use problem (Correctional Service Canada. (2010).
Profile of a Canadian Offender. Quick Facts. Ottawa, Ont.: Author). Investment in addressing problematic substance use among this population has benefits that extend beyond reducing recidivism, such as supporting public safety and investing in future generations.
Improving treatment in Canada
Improving the quality, accessibility and range of options for treatment is a national priority, as identified in the
National Framework for Action to Reduce the Harms Associated with Alcohol and Other Drugs and Substances in Canada. This report guides CCSA’s work in developing resources for the treatment workforce.
CCSA developed the
Systems Approach Workbook to support systems planning. This practical workbook offers a series of modules that focus on improving collaboration, communication and coordination across all sectors involved in addressing problematic substance use, from prevention and detection to treatment and ongoing recovery services.
National Treatment Indicators
CCSA and partners have produced several annual
National Treatment Indicators reports that offer the first overview of service use in Canada.
As part of our efforts to inform effective treatment, CCSA addresses questions about treatment through a series of rapid reviews. These reviews summarize and analyze research literature on priority topics identified by CCSA
For information on how CCSA conducts rapid reviews, please download CCSA Rapid Review Methodology.
Special Interest Report
CCSA partnered with Correctional Service Canada and other experts to produce an environmental scan that summarizes best practices in addressing problematic substance use among those involved in the criminal justice system. The scan is focused on promoting evidence-informed practices that help successfully reintegrate offenders into the community. Read
Supporting Reintegration in Corrections by Addressing Problematic Substance Use; also available as a
Report in short.
Learn how CCSA and partners are collaborating to improve the treatment system.
CCSA does not provide treatment services. View a list of
provincial and territorial helplines for Canada.