Home 9 Our Impact

Our Impact


  • On track to support over 215  callers on our Free Live Support Phone Line in 2021
  • On track to receive over 200 requests for our P2P Support Program (8 hours of support per request) in 2021
  •  On track to support over 250 caregivers through our Online Support Groups in 2021
  • FAR is part of the Working Group established by Toronto Public Health to develop a Toronto model for the decriminalization of drug possession for personal use 
  • FAR is part of a working group of META:PHI and AMHO developing Residential Treatment Guidelines for Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT)
  • FAR did a poster presentation on "Evidence-informed approaches for supporting family caregivers of persons with SUD" at the Issues of Substance conference by the CCSA on November 23, 2021
  • FAR presented a workshop at the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) Conference on October 23rd, 2021 on “How, when and under what circumstances should family members be included in discussions of capacity and consent; a dialogue with families about their inclusion of care”
  • FAR presented on ‘Addressing stigma through clinical judgment: Strategies for working with families’ at the META:PHI Conference 2021
  • FAR presented Addiction: A Family Disease’ for the Canadian Nurses Association Progress in Practice Webinar Series
  • FAR co-presented a webinar on ‘Consent and the Mental Health Act‘ at the Caring for the Caregiver Conference on October 16th, 2021
  • FAR obtained the Proclamation of  Sept. 30, 2021 as Recovery Day Toronto  from Mayor Tory and co-hosted a special Recovery Day Toronto Edition of the Hard Knox Talks Podcast featuring people in recovery and family members
  • FAR co-presented two webinars for the Ontario Caregiver Organization in August and September on ‘Health Law: A primer for family caregivers in the mental health and addictions sector – Part 1 and 2’
  • On August 31, 2021 FAR attended the proclamation of International Overdose Awareness Day at Toronto City Hall and helped organize a candlelight vigil at the CN Tower in the evening
  • FAR’s Executive Director was interviewed on the Albertus Project Podcast about what needs to happen to improve outcomes for those struggling with addiction and what others can do to support affected families
  • FAR and Moms Stop the Harm discussed drug policy reform, harm reduction and protective health laws on the June 18th episode of the Hard Knox Talks Podcast
  • FAR’s Executive Director was interviewed by Kelly Cutrara of Global News Radio 640 to discuss the decriminalization of drug possession in Canada
  • Louise Lemieux White, Co-Founder of FAR and Registered Nurse, submitted a resolution to the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) AGM which was passed on June 25th supporting the decriminalization of the possession of illegal drugs for personal use
  • FAR members were twice featured as guests on the Victory Speaks Wellness Series Podcast with Host Nicole Waldron to discuss the journey of families affected by mental health and addiction (second podcast here)
  • FAR Executive Director was quoted in a Hill Times article featuring Senator Gwen Boniface’s Bill S-229 ‘Health-Centred Approach to Substance Use Act’ 
  • At a meeting of Toronto’s Board of Health on June 14th, FAR requested an amendment to the Board recommendations to the federal Minister of Health to clarify that decriminalization of drugs should occur at the national level and not on a city-by-city basis, which was unfortunately denied
  • In June FAR presented to social workers with the Toronto Catholic District School Board on the impact of addiction on families
  • At the 2019 Annual Conference for the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) FAR’s Executive Director gave a presentation asking CSAM to support the decriminalization of drug possession for personal use. Since then, she became a member of CSAM’s Policy Committee and is pleased to be a co-author of their just published ‘Policy Brief: CSAM in Support of the Decriminalization of Drug Use and Possession for Personal Use
  • FAR requested Toronto City Councillors make or support a motion for Toronto City Council to request that the federal government decriminalize drug possession for personal use in Canada or at least in the City of Toronto
  • FAR requested that the federal government mandate information and warning labels on alcohol products in Canada to inform and protect consumers and the Canadian public. Our request was endorsed by 20 experts and organizations.
  • At the request of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) and as part of their work to build a curriculum on opioids and substance use disorder for the medical profession, FAR arranged for 14 family members of persons with SUD to participate in two family focus groups to inform the medical community on areas of the curriculum of importance to families
  • FAR’s support services were recently featured in ‘The Family Voice’, CAMH’s newsletter for families


  • Supported over 145 parents in our Parent to Parent Phone Support Program  and we are training 12 new parent volunteers in CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) for a total of 28 trained parent volunteers
  • Moved our Parent Support Groups online due to COVID-19 and doubled our groups to four per month
  • Launched a Phone Support Line open Monday to Friday from 1-3 pm
  • Updated website to provide information and resources regarding COVID-19 and Substance Use Disorder
  • “Secure Care; a question of capacity, autonomy and the best interest of the child” is published in the February 3rd edition of the CMAJ Online in response to the Commentary "Secure Care; More Harm than Good"
  • FAR’s Executive Director participated as a Panelist in a Session on Complex Cases at the ISAM-CSAM Conference 
  • FAR’s Executive Director participated in a Town Hall hosted my MP Rob Oliphant on Youth Mental Health
  • FAR’s Executive Director made two deputations to the Toronto Board of Health in support of the recommendations of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health to address the opioid poisoning epidemic
  •  The Co-Founders of FAR presented on Family-Centred Care at the META:PHI Annual Conference
  • FAR’s Executive Director participated in a session on Legal/Human Rights Issues and SUD at the META:PHI Annual Conference 
  • FAR is involved with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC)  in the review of the first ever addiction medicine modules to be added to the curriculum for medical students across Canada. Phase 1 is focused on opioids and is due to be rolled out January, 2021.  Phase 2 will address other substance use disorders and will be for medical residents and continuing professional development for practicing physicians
  • FAR’s Executive Director participated in Addiction Medicine Month for medical students at the University of Toronto
  • Partnered with Maison Arc en Ciel (a residential treatment center for young francophone men aged  between 12 to 24 ) to provide presentations and support to their families
  • Presentation to the Canada Revenue Agency for National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW)
  • FAR’s Executive Director appeared on CHIN TV to discuss our services and the opioid poisoning epidemic
  • Hosted a virtual Recovery Day Toronto
  • Community Partner and actively involved with a virtual Recovery Day Ottawa 
  • Participated in International Overdose Awareness Day in Toronto
  • Increased Followers on Facebook to over 8, 600 – an increase of 70% in 2020


  • Supported over 100 parents in our Parent to Parent Phone Support Program since June, 2018
  • In collaboration with META:PHI (Mentoring, Education and Clinical Tools for Addiction: Primary Care – Hospital Integration) and the CFPC (College of Family Physicians of Canada) provided a Pocket Guide for the in-office management of alcohol use disorder to the 34, 000 family physicians in Canada.
  • Asked to join the Toronto Drug Strategy Panel
  • Launched our first Public Service Announcement
  • Held five sessions with Toronto Police to discuss our support services, the effect of addiction on the family, stigma and drug policy
  • Presentation at the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) Conference 2019 advocating for CSAM to support the decriminalization of drugs for personal use
  • Sponsored the first Addiction Medicine Week at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
  • Presentations to University of Toronto medical students during Family Medicine Week
  • Community partner of Recovery Day Ottawa
  • Sponsor of Recovery Capital Conference, Toronto
  • Funded research by Pine River Institute and Laurentian University which has been published in The Canadian Journal of Family and Youth on what happens when youth are placed on a waitlist for residential treatment
  • CMC: Foundation for Change in the U.S. trained 16 of our parent volunteers for two days in CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and MI (Motivational Interviewing)
  • Barb Watts, an ER physician and Member of our Board has joined the Opioid Task Force of The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)
  • Presentation to McMaster University medical students on the impact of addiction on the family
  • Presentations to the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Interviewed by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario regarding their value-for-money audit of addiction services in Ontario
  • Presentation at a conference hosted by the Durham Harm Reduction Coalition on a family perspective of stigma and harm reduction
  • Hosted a Free Screening of Flood – The Overdose Epidemic in Canada, followed by a  Q & A with director, Adam d’Addario,  Toronto Public Health, Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Co-Founders of FAR
  • As a result of a meeting with the Canadian Psychologists Association (CPA), the CPA has agreed to build an online program that could be used by all Canadian schools in teaching psychology students about addiction
  • Costco and Walmart are changing their policies as a result of our initiative to have naloxone kits and signage in all pharmacies across Canada


  • Launched our Parent Support Group in Toronto for parents whose children are struggling with problematic alcohol or other drug use
  • Submission to Health Canada regarding the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Strategy
  • CTV News interviewed FAR Co-Founder, Louise Lemieux White on October 17th, 2018 – the day Canada legalized cannabis
  •  Provided feedback to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) regarding their online educational modules to empower and support families affected by addiction
  • Successfully advocated for two drugs to treat alcoholism, Naltrexone and Campral, to be added to the Ontario Drug Benefits Formulary
  • Met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne who later announced funding for treatment beds for addicted youth as requested
  • Presented at the Canadian Nurses Association Cannabis Think Tank Conference
  • Began high school presentations to parents, staff and youth 
  • Participated in MP Rob Oliphant’s Round Table on protecting addicted youth, including those not seeking treatment 
  • Made multiple submissions (transformation of the criminal justice system; cannabis packaging and labelling; sweetened alcohol beverages) 
  • Wrote to all federal Liberal MPs requesting support for resolutions at their national convention to:  
    • include mental health in Medicare and 
    • take a public health approach to drugs and addiction (not a criminal justice approach 
  • Participated in Health Canada Stakeholder Conference on sweetened alcohol beverages 
  • Presenting at the Recovery Capital Conference, Toronto in September, 2018 on protecting addicted youth 


  • Launched website for families 
  • Launched Parent-to-Parent (P2P) Support Program 
  • Sponsored and presented at Recovery Day in Toronto and Ottawa 
  • After we met with MP Rob Oliphant, he agreed to hold a Round Table on how to protect addicted youth, including those not seeking treatment 
  • Made multiple submissions to improve the regulation of alcohol and cannabis and on The Good Samaritan Act  
  • Appeared before the Ontario Standing Committee on Policy 


  • Incorporation and charitable registration 
  • Prepared a submission to, and appeared before, the federal Legalization of Marijuana Task Force Provied

We Can Help

Families for Addiction Recovery supports parents/caregivers of children struggling with addiction (regardless of age)