Substance Misuse as a Coping Mechanism

In some remote Indigenous communities, gasoline sniffing, primarily by young people, is said to have contributed to a systematic breakdown of community and family relationships.

Among Aboriginal people in Canada’s territories, indications are that while a smaller percentage identifies themselves as drinkers than their non-Aboriginal counterparts, but those that do drink are more likely to drink heavily.

Twenty percent (one in five) of Aboriginal street youth in seven major Canadian cities reporting they had injected unlawful drugs.

Correctional Services of Canada reports that over 90% of Aboriginal men in federal custody require substance abuse treatment.

Substance misuse has been identified as a coping mechanism in response to issues of

Gladue Tip: substance misuse can also be a symptom of a greater emotional hurt experienced by the offender. It is important for the Court be provided with

an overview of the offender’s substance misuse including their history and frequency of misuse

personal factors that contribute to the individual start or continued misuse of substance

periods of sobriety and any relevant information regarding the circumstances of periods of abstinence

availability of substance misuse treatment and community support

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