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Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Becomes Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

As of May 18, 2017, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse will be known as the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

The rationale for the change to our name is simple: words matter.

Words shape how we see reality and have the power to both create and dismantle stigma. Part of CCSA’s mission is to ensure that people with substance use issues can seek and receive the treatment we know can help. In changing our name, we are taking action to influence social discourse and helping to remove stigmatizing language from important conversations.

The term “substance abuse” implies a person with substance use issues is doing so intentionally and purposely, and that responsibility lies solely on the choices of the individual. No other health issues are described this way.

In recent years, the word abuse, always pejorative, has given way to words like use and misuse — words intended to counter stigma and shift the focus from the problem to the solution. Changing our name signals our commitment to changing the way the world views substance use and addiction.

We will maintain our current English acronym of CCSA, and the French acronym will change to CCDUS.  

We also decided to update our tagline to “Evidence. Engagement. Impact” based on input received from our consultations with our partners. Regarded as principles, the three words work together to reflect the methods by which CCSA delivers results and to embody the spirit of our updated strategic framework.

For more information, see