Major challenges in substance use research in Canada in 2019

  • Bundit Sornpaisarn Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada; Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Farihah Ali Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada
  • Tara Elton-Marshall Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada; Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), London, Ontario, Canada; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
  • Sameer Imtiaz Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada
  • Charlotte Probst Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada
  • Sornpaisarn Faculty of Health Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Jürgen Rehm Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada; Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMH, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy & Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany; Department of International Health Projects, Institute for Leadership and Health Management, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow

Abstract

Aims: To synthesize knowledge on substance use and substance-attributable burden in Canada to determine research priorities for the next 3 to 5 years.

Methods: We searched for and analyzed the latest epidemiological estimates of substance use prevalence and attributable burden and for economic data on the costs of substance use.

Results: Based on trends over 2014-2019, opioid, alcohol, and cannabis use were identified as research priorities due to their current or anticipated future impact on health burden in Canada. Specifically, future research efforts should be directed towards: (a) reducing the number of opioid prescriptions, investing in interventions for those already addicted to opioids,  preventing both the development of opioid use disorders and deaths due to overdose; (b) identifying ways to reduce hazardous and harmful drinking, particularly among those with low socioeconomic status; and (c) monitoring and evaluating the impacts of the recent policy implementations for the legalization of cannabis on various outcomes. While tobacco attributable burden has been decreasing, it is important to continue to monitor vaping use over time.

Conclusions:  Substance use is a significant and increasing risk factor for burden of disease, and research efforts are necessary to reduce this burden in Canada.

Published
2020-12-13
How to Cite
Sornpaisarn, B., Ali, F., Elton-Marshall, T., Imtiaz, S., Probst, C., Sornpaisarn, S., & Rehm, J. (2020). Major challenges in substance use research in Canada in 2019. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 8(2), 53-60. https://doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.275
Section
Article