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Missed Opportunities: Substance Use Education and Intervention Strategies for Occupational Therapy and Human Services Professionals

September 13 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

$195.00 – $345.00

September 13, 14, 20 & 21, 2024
8:30 am – Noon MST Each Day

This workshop aims to deepen participants’ understanding of the crucial role occupational therapists play in substance use screening and intervention across diverse practice areas. Interactive sessions will challenge participants’ personal biases and societal stigma, and practical exercises will provide participants with heightened expertise and a comprehensive toolkit to navigate the intersection of occupational therapy and substance use.

In session one, participants will learn about psychoactive substances, mechanisms of action, and the effect of substances on the person and occupation.

In session two, we will continue to discuss the effects of substance use, as well as explore the dominant discourse around the treatment of substance use disorders. Participants will be encouraged to challenge their perceptions of substances and people who use substances and to consider how substance use is an occupation.

In sessions three and four, we will cover screening, assessment, and scoring of standardized substance use and mental health assessments, goal setting and intervention planning. These sessions will also review considerations for selecting a therapeutic approach and counselling techniques.

Workshop participation aims:

• Increase understanding of the role occupational therapists play in substance use screening and harm reduction across all occupational therapy practice areas
• Enhance understanding of substance use as an occupation and the impacts of substance use on occupational performance, occupational engagement, and participation in therapy.
• Increase knowledge of Canada’s new low-risk drinking and treatment guidelines and the rationale for these new guidelines
• Increase knowledge of the mechanisms of action and effects of different substances
• Increase understanding of the importance of using a trauma-informed and intersectional lens in practice
• Enhance understanding of how personal bias and stigma can impact clinical practices related to substance use
• Enhance knowledge and skills to select, administer, and score addiction-related screening and assessment tools.
• Improve skills at blending occupational therapy-specific goal setting and intervention with approaches that address substance use, misuse, and addiction.
• Enhance skills for integrating substance use, misuse, and addiction into occupational therapy program planning and development.
• Improve knowledge and skills for advocating for the occupational therapy role to address substance use, misuse, and addiction.

Who is this workshop for?
Clinicians of all experience levels will benefit from this workshop and will develop strategies to improve their clinical practice through evidence-based guidelines and trauma-informed approaches

Attendance results in better learning outcomes. Provision of a recording is only at the discretion of SAOT.
NOTE – Recordings will not be provided except where a registrant has made a request in advance. Recordings will only be provided in the event of an extenuating circumstance – personal illness, personal injury or family emergency. When granted, a recording will be available for seven days.


Kimberly Bitz, MScOT (Reg, SK), DScRHL (Candidate)

Kimberly is an accomplished occupational therapist passionate about advancing mental health and addiction practices and promoting well-being. Since 2018, Kimberly has been part of the Community Recovery Team at Weyburn Mental Health & Addiction Services, working for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. In her work with the Community Recovery Team, she advocates for equitable services and inclusion for a vulnerable and diverse population. Additionally, she works with community partners to promote community engagement and well-being. Kimberly is an active member of CAOT’s Addressing Suicide in Occupational Therapy and CAOT’s Mental Health and Substance Use practice networks.

A Doctor of Science candidate in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership at Queen’s University, Kimberly’s dissertation, “Missed Opportunities: Advancing Canadian Occupational Therapy Practices for Harm Reduction Among Women Who Consume Alcohol,” stemmed from her concerns over the health of Canadian women and her desire to advance clinical practices for vulnerable populations. Kimberly is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals through evidence-based occupational therapy practices, research, and education.


Listen to a special interview with Kimberly Bitz on the SAOT Podcast, Growing OT.
Available on Zencastr, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Amazon Music.


September 13
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
$195.00 – $345.00
Event Category:


Online Event


Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists
(855) MY1-SAOT
View Organizer Website


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Missed Opportunities: SAOT Paid Member
$ 295.00
74 available
Missed Opportunities: Student
$ 195.00
74 available
Missed Opportunities: New Grad
$ 195.00
74 available
Missed Opportunities: Non-member
$ 345.00
74 available
Missed Opportunities: TA (Must be THAAA Member)
$ 195.00
74 available