Fundamentals of Addiction

Sunday, October 22, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST

Victoria Conference Centre
Price: $175 + GST / $125 + GST for Students
Light breakfast and coffee included. Lunch not included.

The 2023 Fundamentals of Addiction Course takes place the day after the CSAM-SMCA 2023 Scientific Conference.

Presented by seven leading Canadian practitioners, the CSAM-SMCA Fundamentals of Addiction Course provides early-career 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 45-minute presentations on the most commonly used substances including alcohol, sedatives, cannabis, opioids and stimulants, and get a short introduction to concurrent disorders.

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.


Naved Ali

Naved Ali

John Koehn

John Koehn


Block 1

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.

Presented by George Budd and Ronald Fraser

8:40 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Biopsychosocial Approaches to Addiction

Presented by Ronald Fraser

9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

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

Presented by Ramm Hering

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Concurrent Disorders

Presented by Jennifer Brasch

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Alcohol Use Disorder

Presented by Sharon Vipler

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


(not provided)

Block 2

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sedative-Hypnotics Use Disorder

Presented by Naveed Ali

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Presented by Ronald Fraser

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Stimulant Use Disorder

Presented by Erin Knight

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Opioid Use Disorder

Presented by John Koehn

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wrap Up and Evaluation
Naved Ali

Naveed Ali

Dr. Naved Ali MD was born in Edmonton, Alberta and received his MD from the University of Alberta in 1987. After obtaining his CCFP in 1989, he worked in full-service family practice, until eventually focusing on the area of Substance Use and Mental Health. He was certified in Addiction Medicine by ASAM in 1998 and received CSAM certification in 2007 and ABAM Dip status in 2009.

Dr. Ali is currently Medical Manager of Stepping Stones in North Vancouver, an outpatient clinic providing services ranging from harm reduction to an intensive abstinence-focused Day Program. He supervises and delivers Day Program groups, and provides both outpatient and inpatient consultations including prescribing Opiate Agonists and other Medication Assisted Treatments. He also has experience working at residential treatment and inpatient detox centres.

Dr. Ali also assesses and treats individuals working in safety-sensitive occupations. He has monitored commercial airline pilots in recovery for the Airline Pilots Association since 2009 and previously worked at the British Columbia Physician Health Program from 2008-2012. He is particularly interested in outcome measurements, as well as workplace policy regarding substance use, misuse and addiction.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr Ali is well respected as an educator. He was the Director of Addiction Medicine at the University of British Columbia from 1996-1998, where he taught the Faculty of Medicine Addiction Medicine curriculum. He continues to supervise students, residents and practising physicians. Dr. Ali is also a sought after speaker, having given over 100 presentations internationally to medical conferences, health care providers, patients and their families, public agencies and private corporations. Most recently, he has been an invited speaker to the annual ALPA Pilots Assistance Forum in Washington, DC where he spoke on the relationship between Trauma and Addiction. Dr. Ali currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his two daughters.

Dr. Ali is in his first term as a CSAM board representative for British Columbia and the Yukon.

Dr. Jennifer Brasch

Jennifer Brasch


Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences – McMaster University

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.

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.

Ron Fraser

Ronald Fraser


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:

Board of Directors Co-Chair
Education Committee
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.

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.

Dr. Erin Knight

Erin Knight


Program Director, Addiction Medicine Enhanced Skills Program, University of Manitoba
Medical Lead, Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine, Shared Health Manitoba
Medical Director, Addiction Services, Health Sciences Centre
Medical Director, Addiction Program, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority

Roles with CSAM-SMCA:

President-elect Board of Directors Co-Chair Policy 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.