The goal of this webinar is to introduce the neurological impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how it can increase the risk of substance use disorder. It is very important to understand the significance of addressing ACEs and interrupted neurological development in recovery. Recovery programs need to address these ACEs before they can be effective. Participants will be provided with examples of appropriate tools to help develop new thought patterns that will constructively replace previous destructive behaviors, including substance use. An understanding of the negative impact of substance use on the brain and cognition in particular, but also the brain’s ability to recover following cessation of drug use will be discussed. A focus on brain health is integral to the recovery process and understanding the potential of the brain to improve is important for program success.
Dr. Andra Smith received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and then returned to Ottawa to complete a CIHR funded Post-doctoral fellowship at Carleton University. She began working as a Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa in 2004. Andra uses brain imaging to understand how the brain works and doesn’t work. This includes understanding the young brain and how drugs of abuse impact it. Her focus is on executive functioning and the importance of teen brain health for this type of cognitive processing. She has also been working with organizations like CCSA and the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health to help provide education and discount many misconceptions that exist about cannabis and the brain across the lifespan.