Call for Abstracts – Issues of Substance (IOS)

We invite you to participate in the next Issues of Substance (IOS) conference, to be held in Calgary, Alberta, November 13–15, 2017. IOS is Canada’s only national conference to bring together 400– 500 addictions workers, healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers and knowledge brokers from across the country. This three-day event provides an unparalleled opportunity to share new research and best practices, and to receive practical training related to addictions prevention, treatment and recovery.

CCSA is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for IOS 2017. Abstracts must be submitted no later than January 27 2017, as detailed below. For more information about the conference, please visit the IOS section of the CCSA website.

Conference Theme

The theme for IOS 2017 is Addiction Matters. Substance use, addiction and problem gambling are serious health concerns in Canada. The cost of substance abuse alone to our society is estimated to be a staggering $40 billion per year. Both substance use and gambling disorders can have a negative impact on 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 paramount that these issues remain high priorities on the public agenda.

Addiction matters. Together we can address it.

Individuals and teams are encouraged to submit abstracts that stimulate ideas and discussion, promote learning of knowledge and skills, and energize attendees to participate in debate. We are currently seeking presentations, posters and workshops on policies, programs and frameworks that include evidence-informed practices, emerging research and innovative knowledge exchange strategies. Abstracts are welcomed on all substances, including alcohol, and licit and illicit drugs, and on gambling. Although all abstracts will be considered, we are looking for submissions that support the following subthemes:

⦁    Innovative and novel approaches to service delivery (e.g., technology-assisted therapy, mobile apps, therapy animals)

⦁    Substance use and co-occurring issues/disorders (e.g., mental health, suicide, trauma, family violence, intimate partner violence, chronic pain, FASD)

⦁    Responsible and problem gambling

⦁    Overdose prevention and management

⦁    Cannabis (e.g., policy development and implications, medical use, etc.)

⦁    Prescription drugs, including opioids

⦁    Indigenous approaches to addressing substance use and healing

⦁    Health promotion, substance use prevention and early identification

⦁    Alcohol

⦁    Public health approaches to substance use across the continuum of care (e.g., managed alcohol programs)

⦁    Recovery, health and well-being

⦁    Specific populations (e.g., youth, incarcerated persons, older adults, people who are homeless, new Canadians)

⦁    Sex- and gender-appropriate approaches to substance use

⦁    Drugs of evolving legal status (e.g., novel psychoactive substances, e-cigarettes)

⦁    Innovative methods to bringing research to practice

⦁    Stigma

Presentation Formats

Applicants must submit their abstracts by January 27, 2017. Abstracts should be 250 words or less in English or French and apply to one of the following formats. If you have any questions, please contact

Oral Presentations (20 or 60 minutes)

Individual presentations of 20 minutes or team presentations that feature a panel of three 20-minute presentations allow for a brief overview of the major points or highlights of a particular program or research project. All presentations will be followed by 30 minutes of moderated discussion and questions from a discussant that will be arranged by the IOS Program Committee. Preference for oral presentations will be given to work that is completed. Applicants must include all of the following information in the abstract using the headings provided:

⦁    Title

⦁    Learning objectives for the presentation

⦁    Background

⦁    Objectives of your research or project

⦁    Methods

⦁    Results

⦁    Conclusions

Presenters are responsible for the translation of any handouts distributed during oral presentations.

Interactive Learning Workshops (90 minutes)

Workshops are interactive learning opportunities to demonstrate “real-life” application of techniques and skills. The abstract must include a clear explanation of how participants will be engaged and actively participate in learning. Participation cannot be limited to simple questions-and-answers or group dialogue. Applicants must include all of the following information in the abstract using the headings provided:

⦁    Title

⦁    Learning objectives for the workshop

⦁    Description

⦁    Interactive formats or processes


Posters allow for the presentation of key points or highlights of a particular research project, program or intervention. Posters must be displayed on a poster board and cannot exceed 4’ wide by 4’ high (exact measurements will be provided upon acceptance of your poster to the conference). Each poster must be staffed by the author for a designated period of time. During the designated poster viewing, the author must be available to respond to questions about his or her work and is encouraged to have handouts of the poster to share with conference participants. Applicants must include all of the following information in the abstract using the headings provided:

⦁    Title

⦁    Background

⦁    Objectives of your research or project

⦁    Methods

⦁    Results

⦁    Conclusions

Presenters are responsible for the translation of any handouts distributed during the poster presentations.

Submitting an Abstract

Applicants must submit abstracts electronically by January 27, 2017. Applicants can submit no more than two abstracts as primary author and the primary presenter must be one of the co-authors listed on the abstract. The IOS Program Committee reserves the right to limit the number of abstracts accepted for review, has final authority in selecting presenters and will inform applicants in April 2017 as to whether their submissions has been accepted.

Who Should Submit an Abstract?

Individuals and organizations from disciplines associated with substance use and addiction, public health and gambling are invited to submit abstracts for IOS 2017 that showcase their initiatives, research, programs or best practices. The appropriate disciplines include addiction specialists (e.g., treatment providers, addiction medicine practitioners, clinical staff, counsellors, social workers), allied professionals (e.g., hospital staff, law enforcement personnel, correctional workers, nutritionists, teachers), public health professionals (e.g., public health nurses, health promotion program staff), policy and service planners, program managers, academic researchers, students, residents and private sector professionals.

A key intent of IOS 2017 is to stimulate discussion and the exchange of ideas by presenting new or emerging initiatives, policy analyses, knowledge exchange and research. To this end, work submitted for presentation should not have been reported previously in a publication, either as an article or abstract.

Evaluation Criteria

The following evaluation criteria will each be given equal weight in the assessment of abstracts:

⦁    Strength and appropriateness of evidence or knowledge base for the abstract content

⦁    Potential to stimulate discussion and learning

⦁    Significance and potential impact of findings or conclusions on the substance use field

⦁    Overall quality and clarity of the abstract

Required Information

Before going to the online submission form, applicants should ensure that they can provide the following information:

⦁    Preferred and second-choice presentation format

⦁    Primary and alternate subtheme that best applies to the abstract submitted (this information will only be used to assist in reviewing abstracts)

⦁    Language of presentation (English or French)

⦁    Full title, name, organizational affiliation and the email addresses of the presenter and all co-authors

⦁    If this research has been previously published, the publication name and year

⦁    If this research has been presented at another conference, the title, location and year of the conference

Upon Acceptance

⦁    CCSA will email all communications about an abstract submission to the primary applicant, who is responsible for distributing information to other presenting authors or co-authors.

⦁    If an applicant accepts an offer to present, but is later unable to attend, he or she must provide to CCSA the name of the alternate speaker who is a co-author on the original abstract or the presentation will be withdrawn from the program.

⦁    Presenters will be asked to disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest at the beginning of their presentation or workshop or on their poster.

⦁    All presenters must register for the conference and pay their registration fee by May 19, 2017.

Conference Subsidies

A limited number of subsidies of up to $1,000 each are available to assist with conference expenses. All requests for subsidies will be reviewed by the IOS Ethics Committee.

Presenter Subsidies
⦁    This subsidy can be applied to any costs associated with attending the conference.

⦁    Presenters who are awarded a subsidy will also receive complimentary conference registration.

⦁    Poster presenters are not eligible for this subsidy.

How to Apply

To apply for a presenter subsidy, please submit the following documentation:

⦁    A written request (maximum 250 words) providing the following information:
⦁    Reason for financial need

⦁    Identification of your organization’s category:

⦁    Government

⦁    Not for profit

⦁    Other

⦁    Location (or closest major city)

⦁    Letter of support from your organization
Please submit your subsidy request and supporting documentation to


The deadline to submit an application for a presenter subsidy is February 17, 2017. Those presenters who are awarded presenter subsidies must confirm their acceptance of being a presenter and the subsidy being awarded by registering for the IOS 2017 conference no later than May 5, 2017. Subsidy awards will expire at midnight EST on this date if the registration is not received.

Other Information

Audio-Visual Equipment

Session rooms will be fully equipped with computers and data projectors. If additional audio-visual equipment (including flipcharts) is required, the presenter will be responsible for these costs.

Translation Requirements

Presentations can be in English or French. Simultaneous French and English interpretation will be available for all keynote and some oral concurrent sessions. Translation will not be available for workshops.


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