Assessing service and treatment needs and barriers of youth who use illicit and non-medical prescription drugs in Northern Ontario, Canada

Autoři: Cayley Russell aff001;  Maria Neufeld aff001;  Pamela Sabioni aff001;  Thepikaa Varatharajan aff001;  Farihah Ali aff001;  Sarah Miles aff004;  Joanna Henderson aff005;  Benedikt Fischer aff001;  Jürgen Rehm aff001
Působiště autorů: Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, ON, Canada aff001;  Institut für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany aff002;  Translational Addiction Research Lab, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, ON, Canada aff003;  Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada aff004;  Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada aff005;  The Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth and Family Mental Health, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada aff006;  Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA), Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada aff007;  Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand aff008;  Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, Brazil aff009;  Institute of Medical Science (IMS), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada aff010;  Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada aff011;  Department of International Health Projects, Institute for Leadership and Health Management, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russian Federation aff012
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



Illicit drug use rates are high among Canadian youth, and are particularly pronounced in Northern Ontario. The availability and accessibility of effective substance use-related treatments and services are required to address this problem, especially among rural and remote Northern communities. In order to assess specific service and treatment needs, as well as barriers and deterrents to accessing and utilizing services and treatments for youth who use illicit drugs in Northern Ontario, we conducted the present study.


This study utilized a mixed-methods design and incorporated a community-based participatory research approach. Questionnaires were administered in conjunction with audio-recorded semi-structured interviews and/or focus groups with youth (aged 14–25) who live in Northern Ontario and use illicit drugs. Interviews with ‘key informants’ who work with the youth in each community were also conducted. Between August and December 2017, the research team traveled to Northern Ontario communities and carried out data collection procedures.


A total of 102 youth and 35 key informants from eleven different Northern Ontario communities were interviewed. The most commonly used drugs were prescription opioids, cocaine and crack-cocaine. Most participants experienced problems related to their drug use, and reported ‘fair’ mental and physical health status. Qualitative analyses highlighted an overall lack of services; barriers to accessing treatment and services included lack of motivation, stigmatization, long wait-lists and transportation/mobility issues. Articulated needs revolved around the necessity of harm reduction-based services, low-threshold programs, specialized programming, and peer-based counselling.


Although each community varied in terms of drug use behaviors and available services, an overall need for youth-specific, low-threshold services was identified. Information gathered from this study can be used to help inform rural and remote communities towards improving treatment and service system performance and provision.

Klíčová slova:

Addiction – Drug administration – Drug research and development – Drug therapy – Mental health and psychiatry – Ontario – Opioids – Recreational drug use


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