10.1 Overview

In this chapter, we will explore health promotion, substance use prevention and recovery.  In Nova Scotia, health and wellness services that focus on substance use are provided in one of the four areas:  “health promotion, addiction [substance use] prevention, early intervention, and treatment”.[1]  We explored treatment in Chapter 8, we will explore these new themes as well as recovery by breaking down each one of these concepts.

Health Promotion

Health promotion in Canada is more that just promoting health through eating well or exercising.  The concept of health promotion has evolved and for Social Service workers, health promotion aims at “the promotion of changes in lifestyle and environmental conditions to facilitate the development of a culture of health.[2]  In the field of substance use, health promotion can be used as part of the social determinants of health, examining societal and systemic issues along with individual issues.

Substance Use Prevention and Early Intervention

Prevention activities are meant to prevent substance use or a behavioural issue from occurring.  Early intervention focuses on programming that target specific groups of individuals once they have begun using, before use becomes a substance use disorder.


Recovery focus on supporting individuals once they have addressed their substance use and recovery is unique each person and includes different resources and different pathways for each individual.[3]  Recovery programs and supports focus on helping individuals live productively.


Please review the following series on substance use prevention and health promotion[4] by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction to learn more.

  1. Government of Nova Scotia. (2021). Health and wellness initiatives, programs, and services, (para. 1). https://novascotia.ca/dhw/programs-and-services.asp
  2. Pan American Health Organization. (2002). Public health in the Americas, (p. 67).  Technical publication no. 589. Pan American Health Organization. here.
  3. Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (2017). Life in recovery from addiction in Canada: A technical report. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-04/CCSA-Life-in-Recovery-from-Addiction-Report-2017-en.pdf
  4. Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (2019). Substance use prevention and promotion. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-04/CCSA-Substance-Use-Prevention-Health-Promotion-Toolkit-2014-en.pdf


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