OTTAWA, Dec. 3, 2018 /CNW/ - The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Health Professional Forum, which comprises 18 nationalhealth organizations, is working with partners to ensure health professionals are well-equipped to provide Canadians with credible and evidence-based information and advice on the use of non-medical cannabis since its legalization and regulation.
As with other regulated substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, cannabis use is not without harms. While there is some evidence of potential therapeutic uses for cannabis, the long-term effects remain unknown, and more research needs to be done.
Health professionals across Canada are concerned about the potential risks and harms of cannabis use such as driving while impaired, and other risks especially among children, youth, young adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and seniors. Collectively, members of the Forum encourage health professionals to use resources such as Cannabasics, the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines developed at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and other credible sources of evidence as tools to support patient education to reduce the potential risks and harms associated with cannabis use.
The legalization and regulation of cannabis represents a significant shift in drug policy in Canada. It marks the introduction of a new legal framework for cannabis that is designed to better protect public health and safety. The federal government is working with provinces and territories and other stakeholders to monitor the impacts of cannabis legalization and regulation.
Within this new environment, health professionals have a responsibility to be informed about cannabis and the potential risks and harms associated with its use. It is imperative that health professionals and Canadians have the best available information to understand this changing landscape, along with evidence-based resources to make informed decisions about cannabis.
The CPHO Health Professional Forum will continue to collectively address gaps and collaborate on public health issues related to problematic substance use, including reducing harms to Canadians, addressing stigma in the health system and supporting health professionals in making evidence-informed decisions.
Dr. Theresa Tam Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Co-Chair, CPHO Health Professional Forum
Mr. Ian Culbert Executive Director, Canadian Public Health Association Co-Chair, CPHO Health Professional Forum
About the CPHO Health Professional Forum
Formed in 2018 and comprising of 18 national health organizations, the CPHO Health Professional Forum brings together national health organizations to collaborate and take action on public health issues of national importance. It has identified four priority areas for collaboration: Indigenous health, including cultural competency/safety, problematic substance use, antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease prevention, and dementia/seniors health. The Forum seeks to increase understanding of public health priorities and respective initiatives among member organizations; strengthen relationships with and between public health professional organizations; increase collaboration and synergy among member organizations; and enhance responsiveness on emerging areas of public health and/or crises through coordinated responses and messaging.
Members of the CPHO Health Professional Forum
1 Supported by funding provided through Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!