CCSA to focus on role of treatment systems at Canada's Issues of Substance 2009 conference

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) today announced that it will open Issues of Substance (IOS) 2009, Canada's biennial conference on substance abuse, with a focus on the role of treatment systems. More than 13 sessions will examine the role of treatment from a variety of perspectives, including the Models of Care project in the UK, the National Treatment Strategy in Canada (NTS) and case study and research presentations reviewing the effectiveness of a variety of integrated programs in Canada.

Annette Dale-Perera, Strategic Director of Addictions and Offender Care Directorate at Central and NW London NHS Foundation Trust and previously Director of Quality at the National Treatment Agency, will begin IOS 2009 with a plenary opening that looks at the UK Models of Care project. Launched in 2002, the project set out a national framework to guide the implementation of a four-tiered model for service delivery of drug and alcohol treatment systems.

"Treating substance abuse is a complex process that requires a multi-agency approach with services delivered in a timely and efficient manner to the specific level of care that an individual requires," said Annette Dale-Perera. "The Models of Care project approached substance abuse from this perspective and though the journey was not easy at times, it has been highly successful. In most developed countries only 25 percent of crack and heroin users are in treatment compared to 65 percent in the UK. We've also reduced wait times for drug treatment services from nine weeks to under three weeks for 95 percent of people. And we've seen initial three-month retention rates, which is a minimum period for those with dependency to have longer-term treatment benefit, rise from 52 percent to 75 percent."

Complementing the discussion on Models of Care will be a presentation on the National Treatment Strategy developed in Canada. The presentation will be delivered by Jim Cincotta from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and Chantal Desgranges, who works for the City of Toronto-both are members of the NTS Leadership Team tasked with overseeing the Strategy's implementation.

The NTS provides a similar framework as the Models of Care and is Canada's first multi-jurisdictional strategy to identify the steps required to create an integrated treatment system for substance use. The system outlines a five-tier treatment model that will integrate a continuum of services from the community level through to specialized addiction services for severe and complex substance abuse problems. The NTS puts forward a system of services and supports in which 'every door is the right door'-irrespective of where a person enters the treatment system, the pathways will be available that lead to the level and specificity of care required.

"The NTS establishes 20 recommendations for how we can collectively work towards creating a continuum of care that is equipped to deliver the best services and supports to address substance use," said Jim Cincotta, Co-Chair of the National Treatment Strategy Working Group. "Our focus has been to find the most efficient and effective ways to enable multi-agency, culturally appropriate service delivery that responds to the unique needs of each individual. The NTS has provided a blueprint to develop system-level strategies with various jurisdictions across Canada."

In addition to 13 treatment-focused presentations, the first-day agenda will also include sessions that speak to the issue of prevention.

SOURCE Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

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