November 12 – 18, 2017 is National Addiction Awareness Week (NAAW). Led nationally by the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA), NAAW highlights issues and solutions to help address alcohol- and other drug-related harm. It also provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about prevention, talk about treatment and recovery, and bring forward solutions for change.
This year the theme is WORDS MATTER and will focus on how stigmatizing language can perpetuate false and harmful myths around substance use, and act as a barrier to seeking help and to recovery.
CCSA was inspired by the work of Harvard University’s Dr. John Kelly, founder of the Recovery Research Institute, for this year’s theme, who’s clinical and research work has focused on the science of recovery, and on reducing stigma among those suffering from addiction. In fact, Dr. Kelly’s research shows that the language we use has a very direct effect on how we view people struggling with addiction. For example, referring to individuals as suffering from “substance use disorders” rather than as “substance abusers” is likely to reduce stigma and actually enhance treatment and recovery.
To usher in NAAW 2017, Rita Notarandrea, CEO of the Canadian Centre for Substance stated, “As individuals, we can educate ourselves about the essential nature of addiction as a health condition. We can also ensure that the language we use is consistent with the nature of the condition. Finally, we can support those who put a face and a voice to recovery, to show that it is attainable.”
“We need to reinforce what the science has taught us about addiction. Addiction does not discriminate — it impacts people from all walks of life. It is not a moral failing and it is not a “choice,” she adds.
For more information on National Addiction Awareness Week or Addiction please visit: www.ccsa.ca
Throughout the week please follow the conversation at #WordsMatter and #NAAW2017 on twitter @CCSACanada.
If you are worried that you, or someone you know may have a substance use (addiction) problem. Here are some resources that can help:
- Health Services – 613-945-1111 (CAF members)
- Family Info Line – 1-800-866-4546 (CAF members and family)
- Distress Centre – 613-238-3311 www.crisisline.ca
- Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline - 1-888-230-3505
- Drug & Alcohol Helpline - 1-800-565-8603
- ConnexOntario – www.connexontario.ca
- CIPTO (Centre d’intervention et prévention en toxicomanie de l’Outaouais) www.cipto.qc.ca 819-770-7249
Military Supervisors, check out the details for our Alcohol, Drug other Drugs, Gaming and Gambling (AODGGA) workshop at www.PSPOttawa.ca/HealthPromotion.