Drug Stigma Awareness Training
Sign up for Drug Stigma Awareness Training
This free, 30-minute online training for law enforcement supports the Government of Canada's response to the opioid overdose crisis. It was developed by Public Safety Canada, law enforcement, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Canadian Police Knowledge Network, with additional support from the Community Addictions Peer Support Association.
The training aims to support front-line law enforcement in their interactions with people who use substances. When you have completed this course you will be able to:
- Understand substance use as a health issue;
- Describe the relationship between substance use disorder and exposure to trauma;
- Recognize the different types of stigma and understand the impact of stigma on people who use substances; and
- Adopt skills and approaches to reduce substance use stigma in your work.
There are many different reasons why people use substances.
The opioid overdose crisis affects people living in every part of the country, from all economic and demographic backgrounds, in all walks of life. This crisis, driven largely by the highly toxic illegal drug supply, is heartbreaking and has taken a tragic toll on the families, loved ones and communities of all those lost or harmed.
People who use substances often face discrimination in our society. Fears of judgement or getting in trouble with loved ones, employers or law enforcement can lead people to:
- Avoid getting help;
- Hide their substance use;
- Use substances alone; or
- Engage in other higher-risk behaviours.
All of these factors can heighten the risk of substance-related harms.
Negative attitudes or false beliefs about people who use substances can also make it difficult for them to find housing and employment, which affects their mental and physical health and quality of life.
Learning about stigma can help you help others and improve your interactions with people who use substances.
This training provides an opportunity to learn about substance use, how stigma can impact people who use substances and what you can do to help. Tips and examples from Canadian communities demonstrate how small changes can make a difference and how policing practices are changing in response to the opioid overdose crisis.
Canadian law enforcement members are key partners in supporting the shift toward an approach to substances and their use that balances public health and public safety.
Together, we can all #EndStigma.
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