National Addictions Awareness Week

4.4 per cent of Canadians met the criteria for a substance use disorder

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Each year, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) joins organizations across the country in observing National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW). Led nationally by CCSA, NAAW highlights issues and solutions to help address alcohol- and other drug-related harm. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance abuse​​ prevention, to talk about treatment and recovery, and to bring forward solutions for change.

In 2015, NAAW will be held Nov. 15–21, with the theme “Addiction matters.” Addiction is a chronic health condition that affects individuals, families and communities. The good news is that addiction is preventable and treatable, and long-term recovery is attainable and sustainable.

Addiction is a health issue that impacts millions of Canadians. It causes harm to individuals, families and communities. Conservative estimates (from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey) found that 4.4 per cent of Canadians met the criteria for a substance use disorder.

Substance use and abuse, and problem gambling are serious health concerns in Canada. Substance abuse alone costs our society more than $40 billion per year. Both disorders can negatively impact lives and remove from our communities those who would otherwise be capable of caring for their children, working, volunteering or studying. The good news is that addiction to alcohol, drugs and gambling is preventable and treatable, and recovery is an attainable reality for many. It is therefore paramount that these issues remain high priorities on the public agenda.

The harms associated with alcohol, and illicit and prescription drug use place a considerable strain on our healthcare system and costs our society billions of dollars per year.

Addiction matters. Together we can address it.

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