The costs and consequences of substance misuse are far-reaching – they affect the users, their families, and the society as a whole.

Over the past decades, it became obvious that the most effective intervention and prevention plans for people living with substance misuse were those originating from solid evidence-based groundwork. In fact, many evidence-based approaches have shown excellent results so far, but only for a limited number of persons living with substance misuse because widespread implementation strategies are lacking.

Up until now in Canada, addiction research was mainly performed in a local manner by geographically isolated research groups, limiting the communication between stakeholders (i.e., clinical research teams, patients, clinicians, and policy makers), and preventing the translation of valuable evidence-based data into better prevention and treatment programs.

This is why, in 2013-2014, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), based on an initiative from the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health, and Addiction (INMHA), funded outstanding grant applications from the scientific community across Canada to create the first Canada-wide interventional research network in addiction medicine, called the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM).

Modeled partly after the Clinical Trial Network of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the CRISM provides a functional Canada-wide interventional research network in the field of substance misuse, where members work together to generate the knowledge base necessary to improve current addiction treatment paradigms.

About CRISM Quebec-Maritime Node

The CRISM-QMN members beneficiate from a multidisciplinary expertise brought by the diversity of researchers, service providers, and service users who joined the node and are addressing the substance misuse issue from different angles.

The overarching goal of CRISM is to serve as an infrastructure that fosters and increases Canada’s capacity for designing and conducting multi-site observational research studies and randomized clinical trials about pharmacotherapies, psychosocial interventions, and new health care models for persons living with substance misuse.

The QMN members are working on multiple projects aimed at accelerating the transfer of scientific knowledge into better addiction treatment approaches, including both pharmaceutical and psychological interventions. This multidisciplinary vision has the potential of accelerating knowledge base translation into practices, and ameliorating the health and well-being of persons living with substance misuse.

Briefly, within the QMN, our specific goals are to:

  1. identify research priorities based on the real and current needs of clinicians and patients, locally and nationally;
  2. implement activities that will increase the local interventional research capacity in the Quebec-Maritimes region;
  3. facilitate knowledge translation into improved practices;
  4. establish and strengthen collaborations at the national and international level through Canada-wide and international multisite addiction research studies.