Preventing Problematic Substance Use in Youth
Transcript - 2018 CPHO Report
- Hello. I’m Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
- My annual report this year is a snapshot of our health status as a nation – with a special focus on the prevention of problematic substance use among youth.
- In terms of our health status, we generally live long and healthy lives in Canada.
- Compared to other high income countries, Canada ranks among the healthiest.
- That said, I do remain concerned about the influence of persistent health inequalities – that is – the gap in the health status between various populations.
- You will see in the report that chronic and infectious diseases, mental health and health inequalities are important issues.
- But I am especially concerned about problematic substance use among youth.
- There have been over 8000 opioid-related deaths in Canada since 2016. This is tragic and unacceptable.
- Also, high rates of problematic alcohol consumption are leading to a wide range of harms. A quarter of youth in grades 7 to 12 use alcohol excessively.
- I am also keenly aware that changes to the legal status of cannabis underscore the need to help our youth understand that ‘legal’ does not mean ‘safe’.
- This is a key moment in Canada to examine and strengthen our response across all areas of potential action including prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery.
- We have to act now to reverse some of these current trends for future generations.
- This will require collaboration among many partners to work together to encourage healthy behaviours and tackle stigma and discrimination.
- I hope this report will help to inform your efforts, stimulate discussion, and lead to renewed action to reduce harmful use of substances in Canada.
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