CCSA’s Issues of Substance Conference

Call for Research, Policy and Program Abstract Submissions

CCSA is pleased to announce the call for submissions for the Issues of Substance 2023 conference. Our conference acknowledges the principle that all voices should have a platform to share knowledge and experience. With this in mind, we welcome submissions for research, program or policy abstracts (Research, Policy and Program Abstracts) and submissions based on personal substance use experience (Personal Experience). 

Application Deadline

The final day to submit an academic abstract is Mon., Feb. 27, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Presentation Formats for Research, Policy and Program Abstract Submissions

You can submit an abstract for one of the following presentation formats:

  • Oral presentation (20 or 60 minutes)
  • Interactive learning workshop (90 minutes) 
  • Poster

Please consult the Call for Submissions document to see the requirements for academic abstract submissions for each format. 

Presentation Themes

Individuals and teams are encouraged to submit abstracts that: 

  • Stimulate ideas and discussion
  • Promote learning of knowledge and skills
  • Energize attendees to participate in debate

We are seeking presentations, workshops and posters about policies, programs and frameworks that include evidence-informed practices, emerging research and innovative knowledge exchange strategies. 

Abstracts are welcome on:

  • The effects of COVID-19 on substance use and people who use substances;
  • The intersection between substance use and mental health;
  • The effects of all substances including:
    • Alcohol
    • Opioids 
    • Cannabis 
    • Stimulants
    • Other illegal drugs, and 
    • Drugs of evolving legal status (e.g., psychedelics, e-cigarettes)

CCSA will also accept abstracts featuring research on and evaluations of programs and initiatives. Abstracts focusing on process or behavioural addictions, such as gambling, and on concurrent conditions are also welcome.

Although we will consider all abstracts, we are looking for submissions that support the following subthemes:

  • Emerging trends and new issues 
  • Local innovations in community-level programming (can go beyond service delivery and include housing access, employment)
  • Policy- and system-level changes (e.g., safer supply, decriminalization)
  • Building capacity and wellness with people who use substances (e.g., peer-led support, self-directed living)
  • Unique considerations for equity deserving populations (e.g., youth, women, individuals involved in the justice system, older adults, people who are homeless, new Canadians, LGBTQ2+ individuals)
  • Truth and reconciliation 
  • Indigenous approaches to healing
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Mental health and substance use
  • Innovative approaches to delivering care (e.g., virtual care, therapy animals)
  • The continuum of care: promoting health, reducing harms, supporting recovery

How to Submit Your Research, Policy or Program Abstract 

Abstracts should be 250 words or fewer in English or French and be for one of the presentation formats listed above. The word limit does not include the 100-word summaries on sex, gender and other equity considerations or on engagement with specific groups. These summaries are to be provided separately when the abstract is submitted.

You can submit your abstract using the CCSA abstract portal. Upon successful submission of your abstract, you will receive a confirmation email from CCSA acknowledging your submission.

Additional Information

All information on the submission process and requirements, the evaluation criteria and how to obtain presenter subsidies (if you qualify), can be found in the Call for Submissions document. Consult our Tips for Writing an Abstract for more ideas on what to include with your submission. 


If you have any additional questions, please email

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