November 20, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada
Today, the federal government released their updated Canada Drug and Substances Strategy. The renewed CDSS is an all-substances, public health and public safety strategy. The strategy is an initiative in collaboration with over 15 federal government departments and agencies, with the goal to minimize substance-related harms for individuals, families, and communities.
This week is National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), a time for Canadians to learn more about addiction and how we can support people looking for help with substance use.
We also remember those who have lost their lives to an overdose, and their loved ones. It is a reminder that every person who overdoses is somebody who has a family, and people that care about them. We must take action alongside all levels of government, direct care providers, first responders, families and those with lived and living experience to protect Canadians who use drugs.
No one chooses to develop an addiction. It is a medical condition that affects the brain, and like any medical condition, it is treatable, it is deserving of care and it should be discussed with compassion.
This year’s NAAW theme is ‘Inspiration, Innovation and Inclusion.’ For our government, this means continuing to support new ideas around prevention and substance use services and supports like harm reduction, treatment and recovery. It also means continuing to reduce the stigma surrounding substance use disorder, and ensuring that the voices and perspectives of people with lived and living experience inform our efforts to reduce substance use-related harms.