Feds investing in programs intended to fight stigma associated with addiction and substance abuse

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Published April 16, 2021 at 12:49 am

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With many Canadians continuing to battle mental health issues associated with the pandemic, far too many have turned to substances to help them cope.

Even before the onset of the pandemic, Canada was facing an opioid crisis—which has been amplified over the last 13 months.

In order to help combat this, the Government of Canada has pledged nearly $1.7 million in funding to projects led by a pair of social programs—Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA) and Moms Stop the Harm—intended to stop the stigma surrounding addiction and help families trying to get support for their loved ones.

“Too many Canadians share the heartbreak of losing a loved one to a drug-related overdose and often, feelings of shame and guilt can make it difficult for people who are using substances to seek help. Addiction and substance use is a health issue, not a moral one. By supporting initiatives like these, we can meet Canadians where they’re at, and support them during the overdose crisis,” Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, said in a news release.

“CAPSA recognizes that for people with lived and living experience, systemic stigma is not invisible—its harms are real. We are pleased to lead this work. Our highly skilled people with lived experience of substance use will work directly with organizations, in partnership, to assess and address systemic stigma and improve health outcomes for all Canadians regarding substance use,” Anthony Esposti, CEO of CAPSA, said in the same release.

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