Intensive Outpatient Addiction Programs: The future of recovery?

Dr. Robert L. Tanguay and Colonel (Ret’d) Dr. Rakesh Jetly

April 12th 2022 1:30 pm Walker Banner Room

Session Description

Intensive Outpatient Programs for addiction and mental health are an important fixture in a Recovery Orientated System of Care. Concurrent programs are the gold standard but is also often not available. Trauma and PTSD are often co-morbid with addiction, especially in our first responders, yet little research and little access to trauma therapy is available. Chronic pain is often ignored yet has significant effect on prognosis. We will discuss treatment options for recovery from addiction, operational stress injuries and PTSD, and chronic pain, enhancing a ROSC.

Learning Objectives:

1. Learners will be able to apply appropriate treatment algorithms and evidence-based psychometrics for the diagnosis of PTSD and other mental health disorders.

2. Learners will gain knowledge in Intensive Outpatient Programs and apply the data comparing inpatient vs outpatient treatment using the ASAM Criteria.

3. Learners will gain knowledge on addiction medicine and mental health’s role in the treatment of addiction in a ROSC. 


Ivan Ezquerra-Romano, Lawn, Krupitsky, Morgan, Ketamine for the treatment of addiction: Evidence and potential mechanisms, Neuropharmacology, Volume 142, 2018, Pages 72-82, ISSN 0028-3908,

Dennis McCarty, Lisa Braude, D. Russell Lyman, Richard H. Dougherty, Allen S. Daniels, Sushmita Shoma Ghose, and Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence; Psychiatric Services 2014 65:6, 718-726

Barbara K Bujak, Elizabeth Regan, Paul F Beattie, and Shana Harrington, The effectiveness of interdisciplinary intensive outpatient programs in a population with diverse chronic pain conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis; Pain Management 2019 9:4, 417-429


Colonel (Ret’d) Dr. Rakesh Jetly

Dr. Jetly is Chief Strategic Officer for The Newly Institute. He recently retired from the military as the chief of psychiatry for the Canadian armed forces after 31 years of service. During his time with the military, Dr. Jetly accumulated extensive deployment experience including Rwanda, the Middle East and two deployments to Kandahar Afghanistan. Along with his current role at The Newly, Dr. Jetly serves as an associate professor of psychiatry at Dalhousie University (Halifax) and the University of Ottawa. As an international expert he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and presents internationally on such topics as post-traumatic stress disorder and operational psychiatry. Col Jetly was promoted to his retired rank in 2011 and appointed senior psychiatrist and mental health clinical advisor to the CF Surgeon General. He was additionally appointed in 2015 “The Canadian Forces Brigadier Jonathan C. Meakins, CBE, RCAMC Chair in Military Mental Health”. Col Jetly was appointed to the Order of Military Merit as an Officer in 2009. 

Dr. Robert L. Tanguay

  • BSc (Hons), MD, FRCPC, CISAM, CCSAM 
  • Chief Medical Officer, The Newly Institute
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Calgary 
  • Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery
  • President, Pain Society of Alberta
  • Alberta and NWT Regional Director, CSAM
  • Co-Lead, Alberta Pain Strategy, AHS
  • Founder and Clinic Lead, Opioid Deprescribing Program, AHS
  • Co-Founder and Co-Lead, Community RAAM, AHS
  • Hotchkiss Brain Institute & Mathison Centre for Mental Health

Dr. Tanguay is a Psychiatrist who completed two fellowships, one in Addiction Medicine and one in Pain Medicine. He is a clinical assistant professor with the departments of Psychiatry and Surgery at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Most recently Dr. Tanguay helped found and is the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of The Newly Institute, a program dedicated to providing medical and psychological intervention for people living with complex and treatment-resistant mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain including access to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. He is the former Medical Lead for the Alberta Addiction Education Sessions for Alberta Health Services (AHS). He is the Regional Director for Alberta and North West Territories for the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) where he sits as a board member, the President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and the co-chair of the internationally recognized Alberta Pain Strategy.  He is the founder of the Opioid Deprescribing Program with AHS, the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Community Clinic with AHS, and the Transitional Outpatient Pain Program for Spine (TOPPS) clinic working with spinal surgeons to optimize spinal surgery outcomes.

Academically, he is involved in research in trauma, addiction, chronic pain, opioids, cannabis, and psychedelics and is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the University of Calgary.

Frontline Workers and Trauma

Dr. Johanna O’Flaherty, PhD LADAC, CEAP Psychologist Crisis Response Manager CISM INSTRUCTOR

April 12th 2022 11:30 am Walker Banner Room

Session Description

Psychological stress in response to critical incidents such as emergencies, disasters, traumatic events, COVID, terrorism, or catastrophes is called a psychological crisis. Discuss the correlation between extreme ongoing stress, trauma, and substance abuse, burnout, and PTSD.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and discuss the natures & definitions of a psychological crisis, trauma, and psychological intervention.
  • Understand and discuss the nature and definition of critical incident stress management and its role as a continuum of care.
  • Understand and discuss the correlation between trauma and subsequent addiction.
  • Understand and discuss the resistance, resiliency, recovery continuum.


The library of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation ( ICISF)
Trauma and Recovery: Judith Herman, M.D
The Body Keeps the Score: Bessel van der Kolk, M.D


Dr. O’Flaherty has dedicated her professional life to working with airline employees and first responders; teaching, preparing, and assisting in the aftermath of disasters.
Dr. O’Flaherty has trained over 200 First Responders in Vegas in the CISM methodology.
Dr. O’Flaherty has responded to several aviation disasters as well as the shooting in Vegas assisting both first and last responders (coroner)
Dr. O’Flaherty has just returned from Boulder, CO where she was assisting with the aftermath of the grocery store shooting.

Become an IronGiant; Tackling Addiction using Endurance Sport

Vanisha Breault

April 12th 2022 1:30 pm Nelson Room 3

Session Description

Exercise: the most under-utilized modality of therapy, and in the case of treating addiction and mental health issues is one of the greatest and most highly effective tools that has the potential to transform lives. How do we know it works? Because we have seen it work multiple times over with some of the worst cases of addiction imaginable. Addict to ironman is not just a phrase or a cool slogan for us, it is a reality. There are tremendous challenges in the early stages of addiction recovery and some of the biggest hurdles to even getting through the day is the belief in oneself that staying sober could ever be a reality, especially if or when relapse seems to be the norm. This presentation will discuss these challenges and how triathlon training uses the three different disciplines of swimming, biking, and running to partner with existing modalities of treatment such as AA, NA, CBT etc to complete a more holistic approach to recovery with its unique psychosocial profile.

Learning Objective

Discuss how exercise and especially endurance sport can make addiction recovery and overall mental health wellness more effective, prolonged, and with greater success and freedom for individuals.
Identify challenges and barriers to implementing sport recovery and potential concerns for participants. Summarize outcomes of implementation and the many stories of success.

Vanisha Breault: Bio

It takes gusto to live your recovery out loud, but that is how Vanisha Breault has pledged to live her life—every day. Recognizing her community as a chance to impact change on a local and national level, she is a crusader for social justice. Vanisha is the Author of her upcoming book; ‘Ordinary Courage’ and is the host and producer of the Podcast, Ordinary Courage Podcast, which has been ranked Top Ten in Canada. Aimed to explore real stories surrounding issues of addiction, mental health, and abuse, it’s pushing the boundaries of vulnerability, introspection and everyday courage, and ultimately shifting the paradigm of judgment towards one of compassion.
Vanisha’s most recent awards include, WOI 2020 Difference Maker Award and has been recognized as CTV’s Inspired Albertan. Her most recent achievement is her appointment as Director on the board for RESET Society, an organization that supports sexually exploited & trafficked women and girls.

Vanisha’s personal story of addiction is the motivating force behind her dream of breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues—a goal that couldn’t be timelier.
Vanisha is Founder and Executive Director of the Terminator Foundation, a non-profit organization helping youth overcome addiction. Its motto The Truth is You Can Recover drives the mission to revolutionize lives through the sport of triathlon. Offering one-on-one coaching, support, mindfulness practices and a guaranteed non-judgmental atmosphere, the Foundation hosts an annual conference, awareness runs, and Family group support.

Her story is one of perseverance and humility, and in many ways, deeply relatable to anyone who has ever struggled with trauma, shame, or self-doubt. She is a Subject Matter Expert in addiction and mental health issues.

Vanisha, resides in Calgary Alberta, she has 4 adult kids, and is MaG to 7 grandbabies.

Healing through Breath, Land & Culture, Indigenous Speaker

Avis O’Brien

April 13th 2022 1:30 pm Nelson Room 1

Session Description

This 1-hour presentation offers education around the history of assimilation policies & residential schools and how these colonial genocidal tools created loss of connection to Indigenous identity, mental health & addiction struggles for Nalaga (Avis O’Brien). Avis connects the dots between sexual abuse rooted in the residential school system and how that created a dysregulated nervous system, which in turn lead to her turning to ways to regulate her nervous systems: self-harm, eating disorders, dissociation, and then the ultimate form of regulation – substances.

She speaks to life in the downtown eastside of Vancouver working in the sex trade as an IV heroin user, and the connection between sex work and childhood sexual abuse. Avis shares how harm reduction helped her out that lifestyle and into recovery. Also discussed is how a positive connection to Indigenous identity and culture, neuro-decolonization and land-based healing have the ability to help us to heal from addictions and build recovery capital.

The presentation also touches on the spirit of suicidality and this epidemic that plagues Indigenous communities, how we can start to externalize the pathologies that are placed on us by the mental health system; and in turn, centre the strength, connection to land, spirituality and ceremony that was there prior to all that was placed on us by colonial genocide.

Learning Objective

1) Strengthen our knowledge of how breath, embodiment & land-based cultural forms of healing can help folks to heal from addictions and mental health struggles

When we are engaged in our Indigenous contemplative practices: drumming, singing, dancing, prayer, medicine harvesting and ceremony, we are rewiring our brain from the impacts of colonialism. The work of Dr. Michael Yellowbird highlights these changes beautifully in his work. For most folks who use drugs to the point of needing treatment, we are treating our own trauma wounds. Our breath is one of the ways we can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our body’s natural calming mechanism. Our breath is a tool for regulation that is encouraged to utilize for folks recovering from addictions.

2) Learn the importance of externalizing the pathologies that have been placed on us by the mental health system, and in turn centre the strength, resilience and connection to land and culture that was there prior to colonization

Although necessary for healing, mental health diagnoses often become internalized and can be harmful to our sense of identity. Although we have normalized how we respond to the burdens of colonialism (drugs, alcohol, self-harm etc) as natural responses to 500 years of attempted and ongoing genocide; when we name this, we can start to externalize the pathologies that have been placed on us. In doing so, we can create space to Centre the wisdom that we carry as Indigenous people and create space for all the beauty that we carried prior to colonization.

3) To create a culture of belonging amongst Indigenous folks

Indigenous folks in this country were once connected and anchored by a sense of belonging: to the land, their clans & families, their communities and their cultures. This was systematically severed with the goal of assimilating us into the dominant white society. We see the impacts of this today in the rates of suicide: suicide being the leading cause of death of our people

This work aims to highlight the collective struggle we are all in as Indigenous people to help folks know they are not alone.


The work of Dr. Michael Yellowbird thoroughly explains how engaging in Indigneous contemplative practices heals our brains from the impacts of colonialism and stress. Practices such as dancing, singing, drumming, praying & sitting in ceremony are studied extensively and brain wave patterns are compared to a brain prior to engaging in our contemplative practices, and the brain during and after engaging in our practices.

In this article, Riel Dupuis Rossi explains the importance of Indigenous folks externalizing the pathologies that have been placed on us by the mental health system, and when we do that, we create space to Centre the wisdom, connection to our territories, ancestors and ways of knowing that was there prior to colonization. Riel talks about the importance of Centring Indigenous ways of knowing and culture in the promotion of health and well-being for Indigenous clients


In this article, Vikki Reynolds quotes Riel Dupuis Ross extensively, advocating that centring of Indigenous wisdom and knowledge (drumming, singing, dancing, connecting to land) and all forms of our culture are healing.


Nalaga (Avis O’Brien)
Land-Based Cultural Empowerment Facilitator
She / her

Nalaga / Kaaw Kuuna (Avis O’Brien), a Haida/Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw artist and Land Based Cultural Empowerment Facilitator, was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia. She belongs to the Kaa’was Staa’stas Eagle Clan from the Village of K’yuusda in Haida Gwaii and the Geegilgum Namima of the Lig̱wiłda’x̱w people of Cape Mudge, one of the 18 Tribes of the Kwakwaka’wakw. She is also Scottish from her Grandfather, and Irish from her Fathers side.

She is a weaver, teacher, singer, dancer and land based Cultural empowerment facilitator. She started her company, Nalaga Consulting in 2013 as a way to share the cultural knowledge and beauty of cedar bark weaving with the world. Avis is 14 year on the Red Road in recovery, and now dedicates her life to helping others who suffered with the same struggles as she did. She has a background working in the mental health/addictions field for 10 years.

Avis offers Community Land Based Healing Workshops that are rooted in Decolonization, Reconciliation, Indigenous Land Based Healing & Breath & Embodiment Practices. Her work aims to highlight the intersectionality of Colonialism, Impacts of trauma, Indian Act, residential schools and how we can utilize Ancestral forms of healing to regain a sense of balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit. Drumming, singing, dancing, medicine harvesting, ceremony, weaving, breath & embodiment practices are utilized as self-regulation tools, guiding folks down the path of neuro-decolonization. Her work within Non-Indigenous communities has a focus on building Allyship and dismantling racist stereotypes against Indigenous folks

Healing – Recovery and Indigenous People

Earl Thiessen, Jordan Bareshinbone, Geri Bemister

April 13th 2022 11:30 am Nelson Room 1

Session Description

Culturally appropriate treatment interventions are a way to help Indigenous clients start their individual healing processes. Utilizing ceremony, cultural teachings, and an emphasis on spirituality and reconnection to their identity. Sunrise supports individuals to start their recovery journey using the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, with ceremony and spiritual teachings allowing clients the space to connect to their own Higher Power. Clients are taught about the Three Pillars of Healing; Reclaiming History, Therapeutic Healing, and Cultural Inclusion. Through these Three Pillars, clients can begin learning about the past and how it has impacted them and their families and communities, how to begin the healing process, and how to move forward by being active in their culture and beliefs.

Our people once lived in close-knit communities and taught our children the cultural aspects and traditions of our people as one large community and family. This was slowly taken away through colonization and assimilation. To start our healing journey, we need to heal in a similar manner and provide peer and culturally supported groups and settings.

Oxford House has developed a partnership with Poundmakers Lodge to open the province’s first Peer and Culturally Supported Indigenous Recovery homes for men and women in Calgary and Edmonton. These homes provide cultural support for Indigenous residents to practice their culture in a respectful environment. With the opening of our fifth Indigenous recovery home in Edmonton, we are now the largest Peer/Culturally Supported Indigenous Recovery Home Provider in the Country. We believe this is best practice.

Learning Objective

Culturally appropriate treatment interventions are a way to help Indigenous clients start their individual healing process. Utilizing ceremony, cultural teachings, and an emphasis on spirituality and reconnection to their identity. Sunrise supports individuals to start their recovery journey using the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, with ceremony and spiritual teachings allowing clients the space to connect to their own Higher Power. Clients are taught about the Three Pillars of Healing; Reclaiming History, Therapeutic Healing, and Cultural Inclusion. Through these Three Pillars, clients can began learning about the past and how it has impacted them and their families and communities, how to begin the healing process, and how to move forward by being active in their culture and beliefs.

As an Indigenous community, we heal and celebrate through many traditional ceremonies and practices. We smudge to cleanse ourselves daily and to pray for those around us. We engage in talking circles to heal through our words and be allowed to be heard (usually guided by an elder), and we sweat to welcome in the grandmothers, grandfathers, our loved ones and ancestors to join us in ceremony and prayer. Hold Pow Wows to bring the community together and Sundance ceremony to pray for healing. The teachings are endless and are best explained through long meetings and gatherings with elders who are the knowledge keepers of our people.


Earl Thiessen

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my recovery journey would lead to me being Executive Director of the Oxford House Foundation. The reality of being homeless for seven years still haunts me. I don’t think many would survive the experiences I had during that time, including incarceration, overdose, and a whole winter sleeping outside because I had no idea of the resources that were available 13+ years ago.

Little did I know that the stars were about to align for me and that this would take place in front of a Justice of the Peace. There were eleven warrants out for my arrest. I decided it was time to get honest. I told the Justice of the Peace about my partner and my addiction issues. I told him that I didn’t know how to deal with it. “I need help,” I said. “My rock bottom was when my partner was murdered.” She is one of the many MMIWAG in Canada.

The Justice of the Peace was a caring and understanding man. The first person to have faith in me. He released me and told me to go get the help I so desperately needed. That was the small window I needed to change my life. I went back to treatment, embraced my aboriginal heritage and moved into an Oxford home in 2008.

“Earl Thiessen has been with Oxford house for 12 years in various positions and assumed the role of Executive Director on July 1, 2019. The developer of Numerous Recovery Housing Models including Pre-treatment housing, Entry Level Housing and the Collaborative (Poundmakers Lodge) Peer Supported Indigenous Recovery Housing Model. From Homelessness to Executive Director, a strong advocate for Recovery, Homelessness and the Peer Supported Recovery Housing Model.

Jordan Bareshinbone

I am from the traditional homelands of the Blood Tribe or Kainai First Nation, which is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy in southern Alberta. I am a graduate of the Solicitor General Staff College in Edmonton, Alberta and my educational background for 25 years was in Criminal Justice. I held positions as a Correctional Officer, Probation Officer, and Criminal Court Worker in Cardston, Lethbridge, Calgary, and served a term of four years with the Blood Tribe Police Commission. I currently reside in Calgary, Alberta and am employed with Sunrise Healing Lodge as a Cultural Initiatives Coordinator.  I am a second-generation Residential School survivor and have extensive historical knowledge in Indigenous Culture. I also continue to be actively involved in the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action in a personal and professional healing journey. I am also a person living in long-term recovery from addiction. My role at Sunrise Healing Lodge is to support clients in reconnecting to their Indigenous identity, and helping them begin their own healing journey.

Geri Bemister-Williams

Geri Bemister-Williams is a Professor of Criminology and Law and a Substance Abuse Consultant for Siksika Nation. She provides post-secondary education, expert input, counseling and programming, non-profit board member service, advice on substance use disorders/concurring disorders and at-risk populations. Geri’s portfolio includes family counselling, individual therapy, interventions, public speaking, spiritual guidance, sober living advising, addressing physical and psychological traumas, teaching, child protection and advocacy and first nations issues.

Geri Bemister-Williams was directly recruited and appointed to the Law Enforcement Review Board on the basis of acceptably meeting the competencies, skills and attributes required by the Board.

Our Collective Journey Where Lived Experience Meets Clinical Support

Rick Armstrong, Damyan Davis, Ryan Oscar

April 12th 2022 11:30 am Nelson Room 1

Session Description

After a recent contagion of suicides in Medicine Hat, AB, there were noticeable gaps in pre and postvention. Three local men in recovery came together in search of tangible action steps that could be taken to bridge the gaps and help those struggling. Addiction, mental health, and suicide were common threads in their personal journeys, and each of them were impacted along their own journeys by someone with shared experience. The commonality was found and Our Collective Journey (OCJ) was created. What started as three men with a big idea quickly developed into OCJ present day: a network of people with lived experience and community-oriented partners offering collaboration pathways to create recovery orientated safe spaces for individuals.

Through their own lived experiences, OCJ recognizes when someone gets the courage to reach out for help, that time of willingness can be short lived. OCJ strives to be there before the window of opportunity closes. OCJ focuses on building a trusting relationship, assisting in system navigation, and building recovery capital while supporting the individual every step of the way.

OCJ believes recovery is more than the absence of symptoms, it is about having the opportunity to live a satisfying and fulfilling life. The name Our Collective Journey came from the idea that OUR stories are powerful vessels in which others may gain new insight each time our stories are shared. Once you are part of the COLLECTIVE, we are all on the JOURNEY together. The sharing of stories through the OCJ podcast “From Darkness to Life” has noticeably reduced the stigma and misconceptions around addiction, mental health and suicide in our community. Bringing together people from all walks of life.

Learning Objectives

  • A clear understanding of the therapeutic power of shared experience and how this can exponentially foster credibility with the individual.
  • Identifying the value of being available when the window of opportunity is open.
  • Identify the importance of recovery management including post-connection check-ins; recovery coaching; ongoing connection to recovery communities; community-based recovery resource collaboration and development.


Beverly J. Haberle, Stacey Conway, Phil Valentine, Arthur C. Evans, William L. White, Larry Davidson. (2014) The Recovery Community Center: A New Model for Volunteer Peer Support to Promote Recovery. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery 9:3, pages 257-270.

Kelly JF, Humphreys K, Ferri M. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD012880.
Robert D. Ashford, Austin M. Brown, Rachel Ryding, Brenda Curtis. (2020) Building recovery ready communities: the recovery ready ecosystem model and community framework. Addiction Research & Theory 28:1, pages 1-11.

White, W. & Cloud, W. (2008). Recovery capital: A primer for addictions professionals. Counselor, 9(5), 22-27.
William L. White, John F. Kelly & Jeffrey D. Roth (2012) New Addiction-Recovery Support Institutions: Mobilizing Support Beyond Professional Addiction Treatment and Recovery Mutual Aid, Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 7:2-4, 297-317, DOI: 10.1080/1556035X.2012.705719

About Our Collective Journey

A question that we are often asked is “What makes Our Collective Journey different than what’s being done in community already?” Our Collective Journey’s strength comes from the power of shared experience, but we also bring a lot more than that to the table!

One of the most important pieces that Our Collective Journey prides itself on is the authentic, honest connections with individuals rooted in shared experience. An OCJ peer support draws from their experiential knowledge – the happenings, emotions, and insights of their personal lived experience – as they listen to, interact with and support peers. Through our own personal experiences and hearing experiences of others, we understand that often times peers who are suffering in silence are not ready to walk through the doors of a professional agency. By sharing these stories of hope, individuals have a chance to explore and resonate with unique parts of each real-life story. Every time someone shares their story, they help erase the shame for others which helps them not feel so alone in their pain.

All OCJ peer supports have experienced their own personal darkness at some point in their lives. Each of these peers are ready to share their experience, of how they moved through that darkness and into a new light, with the next individual who reaches out. These stories of lived experience may include various professional supports, coping mechanisms, support groups, and other tools that are unique to each story. OCJ’s diverse peer support network encompasses individuals who have found their way into recovery from not only addiction and mental health, but many other real life experiences. At OCJ, a number of the sharing peer supports are also trained professionals that keep the mandate of “do no harm” at the forefront of all connections. OCJ peer supports are ready to share their experiences at any hour of any day. This is one thing that is difficult to duplicate in a professional agency due to the constraints of hours, regulations, and other agency policies. OCJ approaches all of its connections from a person centred approach and doesn’t just say this on paper. We prove it with each interaction by meeting people where they are at (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually); then continue towards the overarching end goal of empowering peers as they explore possibilities and find their path towards a healthier and happier outcome.

Addiction, Recovery & the Safety Sensitive Workplace: Current Reality & a Path Forward

Dr. Paul Sobey; Dr. Carson McPherson, Suncor Energy

April 13th 2022 Stephen Room, this is a 2-hour two part session.

Part 1 – 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Part 2 – 1:30 pm to 2 :30 pm

Session Description

Those working in the construction sector are disproportionately impacted by substance use and related challenges1,2.  Construction workers are also at higher risk for disability compared to the general workforce2.  A report from British Columbia’s Fraser Health Authority showed that the building trades sector was found to be the most common industry whereby men were admitted to hospital following serious non-fatal overdoses in private residences1.  The risk and costs associated with undiagnosed, untreated, or under-treated substance use and related challenges within the construction sector are immense. These detrimental impacts range from lost productivity (lost value of work due to premature death, long and short-term disability (absenteeism, injuries and impaired job performance due to substance use and impairment)4 to increased healthcare costs and in some cases fatalities3.  Just as the workplace can exacerbate substance use and related challenges, such environments can and should be conducive to initiating and maintaining recovery.  This presentation will provide a comprehensive review of the challenges facing the construction and other safety/decision sensitive sectors as well as strategies and best practice models to initiate and maintain recovery-oriented initiatives in the workplace.

Learning Objective

  • A comprehensive understanding of the of current challenges and opportunities for progress facing the construction and similar safety sensitive workplaces;
  • General overview of the state of workplace policies and management of substance use challenges within the construction sector;
  • Learn to identify substance use and related problems in the workplace, often considered ‘invisible disabilities’;
  • Approaches to responding to substance use and related challenges in the workplace as well as effective return to work and recovery management initiatives;
  • Learn about current evidence-based treatment approaches, harm reduction strategies and how they relate to occupational addiction medicine.


  1. Alberta Health Services – Addiction and Mental Health (2010). Workplace addiction and mental health in the construction industry: Literature synthesis. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Author.
  2. Canadian Mental Health Association. (2019). Impairment in the Workplace –What your organization needs to know. Retrieved from
  3. CSUCH. Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms. Retrieved from
  4. Fraser Health. The Hidden Epidemic: The Opioid Overdose Emergency in Fraser Health. January 2018.

Adventures in The Teenage Brain – Drug Use and Recovery and the Adolescent Brain Development

Rand Teed

April 12th 2022 1:30 pm Stephen Room

Session Description

This presentation will look at the impact of cannabis use on the developing brain. In particular how it impacts stress management capacity as well as self-assessment and self-esteem. The presentation will look at myths and misinformation around cannabis use and how to help teens better assess their approach to this drug.

Learning objectives

  • Understand how cannabis impacts two important developmental processes; myelination and pruning.
  • Understand how to better discuss and educate teens about cannabis use.
  • Understand how to assess adolescent cannabis use disorder.
  • Helping teens understand recovery and self care options.



Rand has been working with teens and adults for over 40 years and for the past 20 years has been helping them understand how substance use can get in the way of having the life they want.
B.A, a B.Ed and is an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist and a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor
He is the developer of the Drug Class program which has been offered in many Regina High Schools for several years and is the writer and host of the Award Winning Drug Class TV Series.(Gemini Award Best Direction in A Youth Series 2008)

Rand is also a very experienced addiction counselor. He has also worked as a counselor in the Regina Detox Centre.
Is a regular presenter on Recovery across the country and was the featured speaker for SADD Saskatchewan’s 2010 provincial Impaired Driving Awareness Campaign.
Regularly presents on dealing with Substance Use and Abuse. Has been an instructor and coordinator with SGI’s Driving Without Impairment Program.

The Icelandic Prevention Model and the Planet Youth Guidance Program

Dr. Páll Melsted Ríkharðsson

April 12th 2022 11:30 am Stephen Room

Session Description

The Icelandic Prevention Model (IPM) for substance use is a process framework for data driven, community based, primary prevention. It is based on several guiding principles and a series of implementation steps focusing on defining and implementing initiatives that strengthen community protective factors and mitigate risk factors. The Planet Youth guidance program is a platform for adapting and implementing the IPM to other national, social and cultural contexts. Currently, hundreds of communities around the world are implementing the Planet Youth guidance program. This presentation explains the principles of the IPM, describes the Planet Youth guidance program and gives examples of implementation experiences from around the world.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the principles of the Icelandic Prevention Model
  • Understand the implementation steps of the Planet Youth guidance program
  • Understand how the IPM is adapted and implemented in different contexts


Sigfusdottir, ID, Soriano, HE, Mann, MJ, Kristjansson, AL (2020). Prevention is Possible: A Brief History of the Origin and Dissemination of the Icelandic Prevention Model. Health Promotion Practice, 21(1), 58-62.
Kristjansson, AL., Mann, MJ., Sigfusson, J., Thorisdottir, IE., Allegrante, JP., Sigfusdottir, ID. (2020). Development and Guiding Principles of the Icelandic Model for Preventing Adolescent Substance Use. Health Promotion Practice, 21(1), 62-69.
Kristjansson, AL., Mann, MJ., Sigfusson, J., Thorisdottir, IE., Allegrante, JP., Sigfusdottir, ID. (2020). Implementing the Icelandic Model for Preventing Adolescent Substance Use. Health Promotion Practice, 21(1), 70-79.


Dr. Pall Rikhardsson, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer of Planet Youth. Pall holds an MSc and a PhD degree from the Aarhus School of Business in Aarhus, Denmark. He has previously worked as an associate professor at the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark, senior manager with PwC in Denmark, business advisor at the SAS Institute in Denmark and as a professor at and the dean of the School of Business at Reykjavik University in Iceland. He also holds a part-time position as a visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School. His LinkedIn page is:

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Recovery Capital Summit Speakers