Fentanyl – A Deadly Drug on the Rise in Canada

A new bulletin published by the Canadian Community Epidemiology on Drug Use on August 11th 2015 reports that deaths from Fentanyl have been rising since 2009 across Canada.

HC Link’s Lisa Brown blogged on what Fentanyl is, recent deaths, and possible solutions. Read the full blog here!

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Designing Health Interventions for Aboriginal Communities in the Wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

As many know, just over a month ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) published a scathing report about the impact of 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children that were forced to attend residential schools for over a century. The TRC found that the practice of residential schools amounted to “cultural genocide”, whereby the Canadian government intentionally destroyed the social and political structures and practices of Canada’s indigenous peoples in an effort to assimilate them.

To read the full blog by our Communications & Project Coordinator, Seher Shafiq, click here.

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CCSA Report: Effect of Cannabis Use During Adolescence

On June 17th. the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) published a report titled “The Effect of Cannabis Use During Adolescence”. The report sheds critical light on how using cannabis (also known as marijuana) affects the developing adolescent brain.

Canadian youth have the highest rate of marijuana use in the developed world, and marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug among Canadians aged 15 to 24 years. Today’s report confirms that early and frequent marijuana use among this age group involves a greater risk of cognitive and behavioural impairment than marijuana use among adults. Compiled by several well-known and respected experts in the field of marijuana research, The Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence provides a high-level, broad overview of the latest research on the issue. It gives valuable and useful evidence to teachers, healthcare providers and policy makers to help them develop and employ more effective youth drug use prevention and intervention programs. It will also help increase knowledge and understanding among parents, communities and people working with youth about the effects that marijuana use, particularly regular use, can have in adolescence and beyond.

“CCSA’s report gives a solid summary of the latest research around the effects of cannabis use during adolescence, and provides professionals with information that is based in evidence — rather than myth or hype — that will be useful to parents and youth. The report is particularly important during this time of increasing public debate about the place of marijuana within Canadian society to better inform this discourse.”

– Diane Buhler, Executive Director at PAD

A press release with links to the reports can be read here.

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PAD blogs for HC Link on How to Engage Underrepresented Youth

On May 28th, YouthREX hosted a webinar titled “10 Ways to Meaningfully Engage Underrepresented Youth”. It was a great learning event that included perspectives from service providers, social enterprises (such as Spoke N’ Heard), academia, and of course, youth!

You can read the whole blog on the HC Link website.

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NEW Printable Prom Infographic – Let’s have all teens have a safe, fun prom night this year.

Are you a parent or teacher who wants youth to have a safe and fun prom night this year?

The risk is not so much at school sanctioned events. The after party is where problems occur. An informal party is often held after prom with little or no adult supervision. The presence of alcohol and lack of restrictions can lead to poor decisions and harmful consequences.

Download the PROM INFOGRAPHIC here. 

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Parent Action Pack Featured in LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine

Thanks to the LCBO for including a full page ad in the early summer edition of the Food & Drink magazine about our Parent Action Pack! We are excited about drawing traffic to our Parent Action Pack website and appreciate the support of the LCBO.

Also, be sure to check out our Parent Action Pack prom campaign here!

Parent Action Pack ad in food and drink

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Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth: Recap of All-Partner Forum in Toronto

On March 23rd, 2015, Parent Action on Drugs (PAD) was fortunate enough to have all our provincial partners for the Health Canada project come to Toronto for a face-to-face all-partner forum. The day was full of collaboration, networking, and information sharing about how to make Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY) deliveries as successful as possible in the coming years.

Diane Buhler, Executive Director at PAD opened up the day by discussing the objectives of the Health Canada project, and what has been achieved so far. After discussing what the goals for the all-partner forum were, Diane passed the floor to Suzanne Witt-Foley (Consultant at Making Connections 4 Health), who was the facilitator for the day.

After leading an activity to help partners get acquainted with one another, Suzanne facilitated a discussion about where each partner is at in terms of delivering an SFPY cycle. Following this, the Peterborough Drug Strategy shared a presentation about their experience running SFPY in Fall 2014, and how they achieved such strong successes with 11 families.

Next, Suzanne facilitated a community mapping exercise, where all participants were asked to identify the assets in their community, the need for SFPY, the service gaps SFPY can fill, how SFPY can benefit the organization, and what individuals, businesses, funding sources, and organizations may help in delivering a successful SFPY cycle.

After a fun activity from the SFPY curriculum, the group participated in an interactive activity about how to engage youth successfully in SFPY. Participants were given post-its and were asked to write down what works, successes, challenges, and barriers to running SFPY. The post-its were then posted on the wall, which had a continuum showing different stages of the SFPY cycle. See the attached for a photo of the continuum and a list of the ideas and lessons learned that were raised during this session.

After a nutritious lunch, the group came back to a presentation by Suzanne about how 14 years of running the Strengthening Families Program has transformed the community in Muskoka. Suzanne touched on funding sources, how stigma associated with the program has almost disappeared over the years, and tips on how to make families feel as comfortable as possible when they are participating in the program.

The group then had a discussion about where each partner is at in terms of capacity building, and how the project has contributed to an increased sense of community. The day closed off with a discussion and sharing of each partner’s community map (see some examples attached), and a roundtable discussion about what each participant gained from the day.

It was a wonderful day full of rich discussion, knowledge exchange, networking and capacity building. We are very thankful to our partners for making the trip to Toronto for the all-partner forum, and also to Health Canada for providing the funding to make this all-partner forum possible.

For more information about SFPY, see www.sfpy-pad.org.

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PAD Featured in Prevention Hub and Mentor International’s Resource Tool

PAD is proud to have been featured in a resource tool for those looking for prevention resources, be it parents, families, teachers, health practitioners, community leaders, or policy makers.

Having over 100 international resources in one place is tremendously helpful for anyone looking to learn more about preventing youth substance abuse.

Take a look and browse through some of PAD’s featured resources!

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Webinar Recordings: Pathways to Substance Use

Did you miss our webinar series on Pathways to Substance Use?

Pathways to Youth Substance Use: Evidence and Implications is part one of the series Youth Substance Use: From Developmental Pathways to Policy Development. The series presenters have extensive expertise in both the research and youth clinical domains. In this first webinar, we will examine the evidence around the particular vulnerabilities of youth pertaining to the developmental pathways that both influence and are impacted by youths’ substance use patterns. In particular, research around the genetic and brain development of adolescents will be presented, with an emphasis on resiliency and how resilience-based interventions can positively impact youth development. By the end of the webinar, we will consider the challenges this evidence poses for youth/family-focused and community practices as well as policy development, a segue to the second webinar of the series, where these issues will be considered further.

Applying Evidence to Health Promotion Practices and Policies is part two of the series, Youth Substance Use: From Developmental Pathways to Policy Development. In the first webinar, we established how the developmental pathways of adolescents interface with their use of alcohol and other drugs.

In this second webinar, we continue the consideration of youth as a priority population and examine how evidence can be applied to health promotion practices and policies, and the link between policy and service delivery. This webinar will start off by introducing the substance abuse continuum of service. There will be a particular emphasis on the gaps that exist in services for youth. Participants will also learn the implications that policy can have across different levels in the continuum of service. The presenters will discuss the on-the-ground implications of policy for youth, with a particular focus on cannabis policy.

The recordings and slides are up and available on the HC Link website!

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PAD’s SFPY Program Featured by the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet)!

How do you convince a teenager to participate in a program with his or her parents? And how do you convince parents to participate in a skills-building program with their teenage children? These are some of the questions that Parent Action on Drugs had to consider while developing Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY).

SFPY is proud to have been featured by the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet). To read the full profile, click here!

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