CAW Policy Paper #11: Substance Abuse Referrals

February 5, 1991


LETTER NO. 11 February 5, 1991

Substance Abuse Referrals

To: All Local Union Presidents, Recording Secretaries,
Unit Chairpersons, Substance Abuse Representatives
and National Representatives - CAW-Canada


At a regularly scheduled meeting on December 12, 1990, the CAW National Executive Board adopted a policy to cover the subject of Substance Abuse representatives or other union officers referring members to treatment centres in the U.S.

The Board reviewed information that shows -

1. There are substance abuse treatment centres in Ontario and other parts of Canada, that on a continuing basis, are not fully utilized and
2. at the same time, substance abuse reps in some of our plants and offices are referring our members to U.S. facilities for treatment with great expense to our OHIP Plan.
3. Currently a number of treatment centres in Ontario do not qualify for reimbursement through OHIP for the same treatment that OHIP pays for in the U.S.

It was agreed that representation would be made to the Ontario Health Minister early in the new year to try and correct this obvious inequity. It was also recognized that there will be times when certain treatments are required and that there may not be anything available in Canada. Under these circumstances, people obviously would have to be referred to a U.S. treatment centre.

The National Executive Board adopted the following policy: -

1. That any referral must first be to a substance abuse centre in the province where the member lives.
2. If nothing is available, then the referral is made to some other substance abuse centre in Canada.
3. If the local union substance abuse representative or other local union officer is unable to find an available centre in Canada prior to any referral to the U.S., the local union must contact national representative Ron Dickson, the CAW National Substance Abuse Co-ordinator to see if he can assist in finding available space in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada. Only after this procedure is exhausted can a referral be made to a U.S. facility. Ron Dickson is to set up a formal procedure to identify available space in facilities in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. This will be readily available should the local representative not be successful in finding space.

If you have any questions arising out of this policy, please direct them to Ron Dickson, CAW, 1568 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, Ontario N8X 1K7 519-258-9303.

In solidarity,


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