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Treatment and Supports

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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.

​Additional information​

​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.

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