Our History – PAD 1983 – 2019

PAD was started in 1983 as “Parents Against Drugs” by a small group of parents concerned about the use of drugs by their teenage children. In its thirty-six year history, PAD developed a substantial portfolio of services.  PAD developed and provided innovative and relevant resources and services, based on current research and “better/best practices” for parents, professionals (teachers, health promoters, practitioners) and youth.

Unfortunately in 2019 PAD had to close due to loss of funding.  Some of these programs and resources will continue to be available thanks to several other organizations.  And this website will remain as a static website until September 2021 so that you may continue to access our PAD resources.





PAD was established in 1983 by a group of parents concerned about the use of alcohol and other drugs by their teenage children. The founders realized that to increase their effectiveness they should link with experts in the field and began an approach of collaboration with other health promotion organizations.



PAD took an important step in the adoption of innovative and evidence-informed prevention education with the exploration and implementation of a youth-to-youth peer education model, first in Toronto schools and later throughout the province. The program became CBC: Challenges, Beliefs and Changes.



PAD began its foray into the development and distribution of print resources with Parent and Community Handbook, now in its 7th edition, and An Early Start aimed at a parent audience.




Based on research supporting family skills building programming as the most effective strategy for building youth resilience and preventing problems associated with substance misuse, PAD adopted a Strengthening Families Program Model. PAD assisted with the development of Strengthening Families for Children aged 7-11 program.



PAD became the sponsor of the Ontario Drug Awareness Partnership (ODAP) which supported 150 Drug Awareness Committees throughout Ontario.



PAD developed PASS It On as well as For the Record, two important resources for youth concerning alcohol and safer partying strategies.


Following a Board Strategic Plan, PAD formally changed the name of the organization to Parent Action on Drugs


PAD began Hook Up to Breast Cancer Prevention, an initiative that examined the link between alcohol (as well as physical activity and nutrition) to breast cancer.


PAD began What’s With Weed, a project on marijuana, incorporating principles of harm reduction and youth engagement.

PAD initiated Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth aged 11-16 project, producing a tested, adapted 9-week curriculum of a best practice program.


PAD developed Building Resilient Youth.

PAD was invited by the Ministry of Health Promotion to work with three other provincial organizations as members of a health promotion consortium. The consortium became HC Link.

Get READY, a new peer-led program for grade 6 is launched.

PAD produces the Parent Action Pack – a major initiative with a website and written brochure.

PAD unveils a brand new logo and launches a new website.

PAD launches Leading the Way to Stronger Youth and Families, a new Strategic Plan for 2015-2019.


Key resources were developed and with the closing of PAD we were lucky to find new homes to continue them.

Our cannabis tools (2019): the Weed Like to Know Chatbot, whatswithweed.ca website which houses the CYC questionnaire and the SMS tool, have been transferred to the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE) so they will continue to be available to you.

The Parent Action Pack and the Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY) will now reside with the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA).


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