Government of Canada renews its investment in research to address substance use in Canada

Toronto: Addressing the health and safety harms of substance use must be seen as a pressing and complex health issue, not a criminal one. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated the everyday reality of people who use substances and those who support them. Moving forward, policies and practices to prevent, treat, or reduce harms from substance use must be based on timely and accurate evidence.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced that the Government of Canada is renewing its investment in the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) with funding of $17 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

CIHR established CRISM in 2015 as a national research consortium on substance use and related harms. CRISM was created as a network of four large multi-disciplinary, integrated teams, known as Nodes, in regions across Canada. Each Node is made up of substance use researchers, service providers, decision-makers, and people with lived and living experience. The Nodes work together to support and generate the evidence needed to inform health policies and practices related to substance use and then bring that evidence to policymakers and practitioners to improve health outcomes for people who use substances. The Ontario Node is located at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.