Activity 2: System of care—Moving interprofessional collaboration forward

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Throughout this course, we have considered the need for a comprehensive system of care. Chapter 17 of your textbook—“What We Need Is a System: Creating a Responsive and Effective Substance Abuse Treatment System”—provides a reasonable overview of the elements of a treatment system of care for substance use disorders. However, from a health population perspective, it lacks a broader concept of a system of care that includes prevention and early intervention for broader substance use.

In this activity, we consider the role of interprofessional collaboration in that system of care. The recommendations for a national treatment strategy, point out that:

Systems are accountable for providing effective services and supports. Evaluation, monitoring and quality assurance are integral to ensuring that services and supports are effective. Leadership, active participation, commitment and shared responsibility are integral to promoting the collaborations, resources and initiatives required to improve services and supports for Canadians at risk of or experiencing harms related to substance use (National Treatment Strategy, 2008, p. 20).

The concern is how to move interprofessional collaboration forward within the current systems to produce better outcomes for the substance use population. The two articles associated with this activity provide some insights—the first from a research perspective, and second, from a pragmatic best practices perspective.


  1. Read: McLellan’s “What We Need Is a System: Creating a Responsive and Effective Substance Abuse Treatment System.”
  2. Read:
  3. Consider the recommendations in all three of these readings associated with the “system,” the organization, and you as an individual. Identify two or three key features in each of these areas that you already are doing, or could strengthen, or could advocate for to better incorporate interprofessional collaboration into your practice.