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Myths Surrounding Drug Addiction: Why Destigmatizing Opioid Addiction Is Critical

OTTAWA (November 13, 2017) – Today, the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is pleased to recognize National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), taking place from November 12 - 18. This year, the theme for NAAW is “Words Matter” and will focus on how the use of stigmatizing language can perpetuate false and harmful myths around substance use, and act as a barrier to recovery.

“This theme is very relevant and timely. There are many myths surrounding drug addiction, particularly opioid addiction in Canada,” said CCPA National President, John Driscoll. “The truth is that people addicted to substances exist in every walk of life regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, employment, or economic status. Addiction is a condition that can effect anyone.”

There is a recognized need to support partnerships in communities and across all levels of government to develop an immediate response to the opioid crisis that includes timely, accessible, and sustainable investments and improvements to quality mental-health and addictions service delivery.

Canadian Certified Counsellors can play a pivotal role in providing timely and accessible mental health interventions for those struggling with addictions or for those whose loved ones are struggling with a family member facing addictions. Addiction treatment counselling is crucial and can play an important role in overall recovery.

“Myths and stigmatizing language, especially among emotional and confusing topics like addiction are heavily prevalent. Many of these factual inaccuracies, like people with addiction problems cannot hold down a steady job, prevent inpiduals from even wanting to seek treatment if they do not think they fit the stereotype of an addict,” continued Mr. Driscoll.

Visit the CCPA website at, where you can search for a Canadian Certified Counsellor in your region. Members of the public can also find authoritative information and related resources about the profession of counselling and psychotherapy by visiting CCPA’s public website,

​Follow the conversation surrounding National Addictions Awareness Week on Twitter through the hashtag #NAAWCanada in English and #SNSTCanada in French. ​​

About CCPA:

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is a national bilingual association providing professional counsellors and psychotherapists with access to exclusive educational programs, certification, professional development and direct contact with professional peers and specialty groups.  CCPA promotes the profession and its contribution to the mental health and well-being of all Canadians.  For more information on the counselling and psychotherapy profession, please visit or

For further information, please contact:

Cynthia Waldmeier, media relations

613-233-8906 |


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