National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program

The National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) helps set up and operate treatment programs to reduce and prevent problematic alcohol, drug and solvent use in Aboriginal communities. The program's goal is to help fund First Nations and Inuit-run initiatives.

Most treatment programs use many different approaches that blend culturally specific and mainstream approaches.

NNADAP treatment centres can be:

  • inpatient
  • outpatient
  • day or evening service

They may include programs for:

  • couples
  • families
  • youth
  • women
  • pregnant women
  • people with mental health issues

Program overview

The NNADAP's many successes are due to First Nations ownership of the services. NNADAP workers are:

  • creative
  • dedicated
  • motivated
  • innovative
  • personally invested
  • accredited and certified

Community NNADAP worker positions have helped develop local leadership. Many former NNADAP workers went on to post-secondary education and:

  • moved into leadership positions in their communities
  • qualified for positions in both the public and private sectors

Program review

Many Aboriginal people identify their trauma and associated substance use as being directly related to:

  • Indian Residential Schools
  • the child welfare experience

Understanding these issues is important to the success of the program. The NNADAP General Review 1998 Final Report, put forward recommendations to:

  • better coordinate services and supports:
  • meet the needs of First Nations communities

Since the review, problematic prescription drug use has become a major issue in many communities. Treatment needs have changed to address:

  • youth, who are a growing at-risk population
  • women
  • people with mental health issues

Program renewal

Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada helps:

  • strengthen community, regional and national responses to substance use issues
  • guide the delivery, design and coordination of services at all levels of the program
  • recognize that organizations, departments and partners are responsible for addressing the substance use-related needs of First Nations in Canada

Since 2011, the Framework has:

  • supported the development of community health, mental health and addiction plans in communities
  • guided regional First Nations strategic planning efforts, including those in northern Ontario to address problematic prescription drug use
  • provided direction for a range of activities, such as:
    • efforts to strengthen screening and assessment
    • brief intervention approaches
    • case management

Thanks to the NNADAP Renewal Leadership Team, the Framework is now in effect at the community, regional and national levels. The Framework has enabled the team to improve addiction services for First Nations with help from the:

  • Assembly of First Nations
  • National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation
  • Government of Canada

National addictions programs

The National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) and The National Youth Solvent Abuse Program (NYSAP) make up a network of programming that includes:

  • First Nations addiction treatment centres
  • NNADAP community-based prevention programs

Key components of the NNADAP and NYSAP network include:

  • prevention
  • early identification and intervention
  • screening, assessment and referral
  • treatment
  • discharge planning and aftercare
  • performance measurement, research and knowledge exchange

The programs provide access to addictions support to the majority of First Nations and Inuit communities.

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