National Addictions Awareness Week 2022


21 Nov 2022

This week is National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), an annual campaign lead by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) that highlights ways to address health issues related to alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and other drugs. It provides an opportunity for people in Canada to learn more about prevention, talk about treatment and recovery, and share solutions.

This year’s theme is A Community of Caring, and it focusses on collaborating as a community to initiate change and “… present Canadians with ways to reassess the way they think about substance use and people who use drugs.”

Substance Use and Addiction
Approximately 6 million Canadians will meet the criteria for a substance use disorder in their lifetime.  Additionally, people without a substance use disorder may experience harms related to substance use. Of particular concern, there has been a steady increase in opioid-related harms in Ontario for more than a decade with more than 2,800 Ontarians who died from opioid-related causes in 2021.

Public Health Ontario (PHO) offers various substance-related data tools and reports. Our most recent products include:

  • An infographic, informed by data from the COMPASS Study that looks at youth health trends in Ontario since cannabis legalization.
  • A joint report by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), the Office of the Chief Coroner and PHO, describes characteristics of opioid toxicity deaths among Ontarians with recent employment history in the construction industry.
  • A joint report from the ODPRN, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, and PHO that describes the characteristics of people who died of an opioid-related poisoning in Ontario during the pandemic, as well as their patterns of health care use prior to death.

Addiction affect us all as a community. Eliminating stigma and discrimination, and encouraging a safe space for dialogue and acceptance can lead to better access for those seeking care and support.

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Published 21 Nov 2022