We envision a world where all individuals have access to the informed services and supports in seeking help for their substance use health without stigma or discrimination.


Stigma is best understood as a deeply held set of false beliefs about a group of people with at least one attribute in common. This allows the judgement, oppression and discrimination of those people to take place. This is done by either overt actions or silent complicity with those actions. (CAPSA, 2020)

CAPSA offers educational opportunities to engage in lifelong learning through training on the topic of substance use health, stigma, person-first language, and allyship. Stigma and judgement-free language about substance use health must become a priority that moves us away from presumptions of disorders and bad/harmful actions.



CAPSA acknowledges the impactful wisdom from individuals with lived/living experience with substance use disorder, including their family, friends, and allies. We believe in the importance in listening to people’s experiences through their journey to increased health and creating a meaningful connection within our community, free from stigma or discrimination.

CAPSA believes that in engaging in our community and being visible is a giant first step in ending stigma. Our events are open to everyone in our community. We are looking forward to meeting you.


Substance Use Health

Substance Use Health is a concept developed by CAPSA to address systemic stigma and use a strength-based health lens to substance use that does not presume illness.

It recognizes that 78% of people 15+ years of age living in Canada use substances, and our health in relationship with those substances requires multiple supports across our lifetime.

To learn more, download Understanding Substance Use Health: A Matter of Equity.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

CAPSA Newsletter

Sign-up to the CAPSA newsletter that includes major upcoming events, opportunities to engage, and education on substance use health, stigma and person-first language and its role on ending discrimination.

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