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National Addiction Awareness Week and Cannabis and Health Awareness Week

By Michelle Brokop, PSP Ottawa Health Promotion –

26 November – 2 December, 2018 is National Addiction Awareness Week (NAAW). Led nationally by the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA), this year’s tagline is All walks of Life.

One in ten Canadians suffers from some type of substance use disorder. That could mean your colleague, your neighbour or someone in your own family. Addiction does not discriminate – it affects all walks of life.

During National Addictions Awareness Week, the goal is to dispel some deeply held stereotypes about substance use disorders. A communication toolkit is available on the CCSA website, which includes fact sheets and videos where individuals share their experience with substance use, both personally and through others. Those videos demonstrate how substance use disorders can affect any social level.

The PSP Ottawa Health Promotion team is hosting an Addiction Awareness Building Event on 30 November 2018 at NDHQ (Carling), in the Building 6 cafeteria:

  • Visit the “Mocktail Lounge” – sample a delicious non-alcoholic drink.
  • Find information on Cannabis and Health – pick up your copy of Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.
  • Try out the Fatal Vision Goggles – simulating impairment due to alcohol or cannabis.
  • Understand how alcohol can impact health – pick up your copy of Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.
  • Pick up some tips on enjoying a “Healthy Holiday” season this year and more!

Participants can also enter a draw to win a Health Promotion Healthy Holiday Survival Kit.

As a part of Canada’s National Addictions Awareness Week, it is important to understand the facts about Cannabis and Health, therefore Strengthening the Forces have aligned a Cannabis Awareness Week Campaign, titled Cannabis and Health. The objective of the campaign is to create awareness on the health effects of cannabis use and promote a harm reduction approach.

The key messages for the campaign are:

  1. Cannabis can impair your abilities, make it harder to learn and remember, affect your mood and mental health, damage your lungs and lead to addiction. There are both short and long term health hazards.


  1. Defend your health and be combat ready. Make informed choices. Using cannabis regularly and over a long time can harm your physical and mental health and can lead to physical dependence.


  1. Healthy choices are up to you. Cannabis can slow reaction times and lower attention and coordination. Driving under its influence can result in a car accident, serious injuries or death.


  1. Learn how cannabis can impact your health. The impairing effects of cannabis depend on how it was used, smoked, inhaled or ingested and how much was taken.

For more information on cannabis and harm reduction please check out the following links:

If you are concerned that you, or someone you know may have a substance use (addiction) problem, here are some resources that are available to you:

  • CAF Health Services & Addiction Counsellors – 613-945-1111 (CAF members)
  • Family Info Line – 1-800-866-4546 (CAF members and family)
  • Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline – 1-888-230-3505
  • Quebec Gambling: Help and Referral -1-800-461-0140
  • The Centre for Addictions and Mental Health
  • ConnexOntario – 1-866-531-2600

CAF members, check out the Alcohol, Drug other Drugs, Gaming and Gambling workshop. (MITE Code provided)


This post is also available in: Français (French)

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