Currently, the substance abuse field in Canada is not represented by a national association or professional college. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) researched this issue in 2007, gathering information about:
- The costs, benefits and issues associated with establishing a national organization or a professional college to represent the substance abuse workforce
- The most appropriate model for representing this workforce
The results of this study, Models of Professionalism, indicate that while there are advantages to establishing an association, more work needs to be done to determine whether the substance abuse field could benefit from a voluntary national organization with a mandate specific to substance abuse.
Some provinces have begun to study the lack of requirements needed to join the substance abuse workforce. Ontario and Saskatchewan are two, for example, and their approaches are somewhat different.
Many professionals working in the substance abuse field already belong to an association or college such as social workers, nurses, psychologists or health services executives. Follow the links below to learn more about these and other national associations and professional colleges that could potentially serve as a model for the substance abuse field.