Fundamentals of Addiction

Sunday, November 17, 2024

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST

Sheraton Hamilton Hotel
Price: $175 + HST / $125 + HST for Students
Light breakfast, lunch, and coffee included.

The 2024 Fundamentals of Addiction Course takes place the day after the CSAM-SMCA 2024 Scientific Conference.

Presented by leading Canadian practitioners, the CSAM-SMCA Fundamentals of Addiction Course provides clinicians and students with a solid foundation for continued learning in addictions care and treatment. The course covers biopsychosocial approaches to addiction as well as assessment, diagnosis, brief intervention and referral to treatment. Hear relevant, practical 30 to 60-minute presentations on the most commonly used substances including alcohol, sedatives, cannabis, opioids and stimulants, and a short introduction to concurrent disorders. This year’s course will include an on-line module on Alcohol Use Disorder to be completed prior to the course in preparation for the case-based interactive workshop session held during the course applying the principles in a real-world practical manner.

Learning Objectives
  • Explain the biopsychosocial approach, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders.
  • List signs and symptoms of intoxication and withdrawal of various substances of use and indicate an approach to management.
  • Explain the interaction and important considerations of substance use and concurrent physical and mental health issues.
  • Biopsychosocial Approaches to Addiction
  • Assessment and Diagnosis; Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
  • Concurrent Disorders
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Sedative-Hypnotics Use Disorder
  • Cannabis Use Disorder
  • Stimulant Use Disorder
  • Opioid Use Disorder


Pre-Course On-line Module

To be completed prior to the course

Alcohol Use Disorder

– Dr. Sharon Vipler

Block 1

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.

– Dr. Ronald Fraser

8:40 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Biopsychosocial Approaches to Addiction

– Dr. Ronald Fraser

9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Assessment and Diagnosis; Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

– Dr. Tosh Mizzau

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Opioid Use Disorder

– Dr. Ainko Ramanathan

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Concurrent Disorders

– Dr. Jenn Brasch

12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Block 2

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Alcohol Use Disorder Case based Interactive Workshop

– Dr. Ronald Fraser

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Cannabis Use Disorder

– Dr. Wiplove Lamba

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.


3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Uppers and Downers: Stimulant Use Disorder & Sedative Hypnotics Use Disorder

– Dr. Erin Knight

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wrap Up and Evaluation

Subject to change.


Wiplove Lamba

Wiplove Lamba

Tosh Mizzau

Tosh Mizzau

Ainko Ramanathan

Ainko Ramanathan

Jennifer Brasch

Jennifer Brasch


Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University
Leadership Role at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Roles with CSAM-SMCA:

Conference Chair
CSAM-SMCA Past President

Dr. Jennifer Brasch is an Associate Professor and a member of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University . She completed her medical training at Queen’s University in 1991 and a Psychiatry residency at McMaster University in 1996.

Dr. Brasch is Lead, Addiction Psychiatry, for the Mental Health & Addictions Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. At St. Joe’s she is the psychiatrist for the Concurrent Disorders Outpatient team and works at the Rapid Assessment Addiction Medicine clinic. She has an opioid agonist therapy practice at the Hamilton Clinic. Dr. Brasch frequently gives educational presentations on addictions and concurrent disorders and supervises medical students and residents. She is the lead for The Reasons to go on Living Project. She was featured in a video by the OMA for her work in concurrent disorders.

Dr. Brasch has been a CSAM member since 2013 and Co-chair or Chair of the Scientific Conference Committee since 2017. She participated in the strategic planning process in 2019 and looks forwards to implementing the strategic directions as President.

Ron Fraser

Ronald Fraser


Director, Personality Disorders Program, McGill University Health Centre
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University

Roles with CSAM-SMCA:

Co-Chair, Fundamentals of Addiction Course Member, Conference Committee

Dr. Fraser received his medical degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1995 and completed his psychiatry residency at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 2000. He completed a fellowship in addiction psychiatry at McGill in 2001. Dr. Fraser is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at McGill and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie.

Dr. Fraser is the head of the inpatient detoxification service at the Montreal Genral Hospital and an attending staff physician on the Addiction Psychiatry Unit of the Department of Psychiatry at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC). He is also the director of the Personality Disorder Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the MUHC. He serves as chair of the Competency Committee of the Department of Psychiatry within the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. He has won numerous undergraduate and postgraduate teaching awards over the past two decades.

Dr. Fraser has a special research interest in the interface between addiction and personality disorders.

Dr. Fraser has been a member of CSAM since 2014. He is on the education committee (as co-chair) and the annual conference committee and has been a BOD member at large since 2015 and is currently serving his second term.

Erin Knight

Erin Knight


Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, University of Manitoba
Program Director, Addiction Medicine Enhanced Skills Residency, Department of Family Medicine, University of Manitoba
Medical Director, Addiction Services, Health Sciences Centre
Medical Lead, Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Hub, Shared Health Manitoba

Roles with CSAM-SMCA:

Co-Chair Policy Committee
Member, Standards Committee
Member, Conference Committee

Dr. Erin Knight is a fellowship trained addiction physician and a family physician. She completed medical school in her home province of Manitoba and residency in the Aboriginal program based in Vancouver at UBC. Following residency, she completed a one-year ABAM accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. She holds ISAM certification and a Certificate of Added Competence (CAC) in Addiction Medicine through the CFPC.

Dr. Knight practices family medicine at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre in Winnipeg and addiction medicine at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg and the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre in Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She is the medical director of Addiction Services at HSC, the co-Medical Lead for Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) provincially and the Medical Director of the Island Lake Addiction Program with Four Arrows Regional Health Authority. She is also the inaugural Program Director for the Addiction Medicine Enhanced Skills residency program at the University of Manitoba, which accepted its first residents in 2021. She is keenly interested in health systems and medical education, with a goal of improving access to evidence-based addiction services including harm reduction and treatment options.

sharon vipler

Sharon Vipler


Regional Department Head & Program Medical Director, Addiction Medicine and Substance Use Services, Fraser Health Authority.
UBC Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Sharon Vipler completed her medical degree at the University of British Columbia and her family medicine residency at the University of Alberta. She is a diplomat in the American Board of Addiction Medicine. She is currently the Program Medical Director and Regional Department Head of Addiction Medicine and Substance Use Services at Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia. Clinically, she works in a wide spectrum of addiction medicine settings in BC’s lower mainland.

George Budd

George Budd

George P. Budd, a practicing pharmacist since 1992 from Cairo University, further obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011 from Idaho State University. He has experience in many different practice settings within the profession such as hospital pharmacy residency, community pharmacy and as a pharmacist-manager in community settings. Former Senior Investigator for the College of Pharmacists of BC (CPBC), and formally a Professional Conduct Review Consultant/Policy Liaison with the BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). Currently a Research Associate at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and a member of the Complex Pain and Addiction Services Team at Vancouver General Hospital.

George is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), a public member on the Professional Practice Standards at BCCNP, a Past-President of the Western Canada Addiction Society, and a former public representative to the Methadone Panel and the Prescription Review Program at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

Additionally, he has been a representative on National and Provincial advisory committees such as CCSA National Dialogue on Prescription Drug Misuse, Opioid Substitution Treatment Psychosocial Service Framework and many other.

George is the first pharmacist to complete a Pharmacy Addiction Fellowship at the BC Centre on Substance Us (BCCSU) and is dedicated to establishing best practices in the area of addiction medicine. He worked closely with addiction physicians and members of other disciplines that share a strong belief in collaboration as a key to achieving desired health outcomes.

ramm herring

Dr. Ramm Hering


Physician Lead
Primary Care Addiction Medicine
Island Health
Physician Lead
Addiction Medicine Consult Service (AMCS)
Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospitals
Island Health Victoria Site Director
BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) Addiction Medicine Fellowship Clinical Instructor
Faculty of Medicine

Roles with CSAM-SMCA:

Former Board Member

Dr. Hering is the Victoria Site Director for the BCCSU Clinical Addiction Medicine Fellowship and works as a clinical consultant on various projects for the BCCSU. He is the Physician lead for Primary Care Addiction Medicine Capacity Building, for Island Health. He is the founding physician lead of the inpatient Addiction Medicine Consult Service and founded the Rapid Access Addiction Clinic (RAAC) both in Victoria BC. He also works at the Island Health Addiction Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Clinic and the Pandora Clinic in Victoria.

Dr. Hering was an invited reviewer of the initial BCCSU Guidelines for the Clinical Management of Opioid Addiction and Management of Alcohol Use Disorder as well as the forthcoming CRISM National Alcohol Use Disorder Guideline.