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CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH AWARDS GRANT FUNDING FOR STUDY OF BREAKING FREE FROM SUBSTANCE USE AT CAMH

February 2020

Canada’s federal funding agency for health research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has awarded a grant of $378,000 for a study to be conducted by a team of investigators from the University of Toronto, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Ontario Telemedicine Network, Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA) and Breaking Free Group.

Led by Dr Lena Quilty (University of Toronto and CAMH), the study is a three-arm randomized controlled trial examining the clinical impact of providing the Breaking Free from Substance Use digital intervention for Substance Use Disorder to patients at CAMH alongside peer support. A total of 225 participants will be randomized to one of three groups: 1) Breaking Free plus peer support and standard care, 2) Breaking Free plus standard care, or 3) standard care only. 

Outcomes will be examined across the three groups at post-treatment, and at three- and six-months follow-up. The primary outcome measure will be change in frequency (days) of substance use over the past 30 days, with secondary outcomes including severity of substance dependence, quality of life and other measures of psychosocial functioning.

Dr Sarah Elison-Davies, Research Director at Breaking Free Group, commented: “We are delighted to be receiving CIHR funding for this study, which will give us important new insights into the role that can be played in facilitating digital interventions by those with lived experience of SUD. Having seen how empowering peer networks can be, we are keen to shed new light on how digital technology can be harnessed to further increase the capacity of peer mentors to support people’s recovery.”

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