Preventing Problematic Substance Use in Youth

With described video


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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