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CCSA Recognizes Federal Leadership on Prescription Drug Abuse

Ottawa, February 12, 2014 — The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) acknowledges the strong leadership shown by the federal government on the issue of prescription drug abuse in its budget released yesterday. The 2014 Economic Action Plan commits $44.9 million over five years to expand the focus of the National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS) from illicit drugs to address prescription drug abuse.

“The issue of prescription drug misuse has reached crisis proportions in Canada,” said Michel Perron, CCSA’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are very pleased the federal government has decided to increase its drug strategy funding to take into account the additional efforts that will be required to adequately address the situation.”

Through its commitment in the budget, the federal government is demonstrating its support of the efforts of many stakeholders in dealing with this critical health issue and following up on its pledge in last fall’s Speech from the Throne.

“We invite other levels of government to follow the lead as demonstrated in yesterday’s federal budget and increase their financial commitment to address the issue of prescription drug misuse,” Mr Perron said.

He also took the opportunity to congratulate Minister Ambrose for the leadership she has shown on this issue since she took over the Health portfolio last summer.

In March 2013, CCSA, in collaboration with over 30 stakeholders, launched First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis, a pan-Canadian response to the issue of opiate, stimulant and sedative misuse. The strategy recognizes that Canada’s prescription drug problem is too complex, too significant and too deeply rooted for any one group to tackle in isolation.

Dealing with these challenges is the reason CCSA was formed in 1988 by an Act of Parliament with all-party support to provide national leadership in reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs. For information on CCSA’s accomplishments over the last 25 years, please visit the special anniversary section of CCSA’s website.

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