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Young Adult Substance Use Program (YA-SUP)

Young adulthood is an "in-between" period of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. That is why other names for people in this age group include Transition Aged Youth or Emerging Adults. It is a unique time for self-discovery, building relationships, and becoming independent. Many young adults also experience lots of uncertainty and change. This can make the transition challenging to navigate. The Young Adult Substance Use Program (YA-SUP) aims to meet these unique needs. We offer 2 separate streams. There is a Young Adult Stream for young adults (17-25) looking to make changes to their substance use. We also offer a Loved Ones stream, for loved ones of young adults with substance use problems.

Who is the program for?

  • Young adults aged 17-25 who are looking to make changes to their substance use. 

  • Young adults committed to attending group-based treatment.

  • Young adults not in immediate crisis *contact COAST in immediate crisis (905) 972-8338

“You define your goals. We are here to meet you where you are at and support you in reaching your goals.” 


YA-SUP Research

YA-SUP with the support of the Peter Boris Centre for Addiction Research (PBCAR) engages in research projects examining young adult substance use, mental health, and concurrent disorders.


Your Care Team 

We have a multi-disciplinary and collaborative team with expertise in mental health and community support counselling, nursing, addiction psychiatry, and substance use research.


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Marina Kennedy, MSW

I'm Marina, a registered social worker who has been working with young people for nearly 15 years, dedicating the past 6 years to treating addictions and mental health. I'm an avid runner who loves hot summers and engaging children in philosophical discussions; I typically spend my downtime reading non-fiction or playing music.

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Mareena Mathew, NP

Hi, my name is Mareena, and I am a Nurse Practitioner. I have always worked in mental health and addiction service, and I have a special interest in working with youth. I love music, dance, outdoor activities, and spending time with my dog. 


Victoria Stead, PhD (Psychology)

Hi, my name is Victoria. I’m part of the clinical team at YA-SUP and the research team at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. I’m particularly passionate about helping those with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, trying new restaurants, and exploring new places.

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Kyla King 

Hi, I’m Kyla, and I am a Community Support Counsellor with the YA-SUP. In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, live music, practicing yoga and hiking.

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Michelle Venantius, MD

Hi, my name is Michelle, and I provide psychiatric consultation to the wonderful team at YA-SUP. When I am not at work, I am spending time with my family, trying new recipes, and finding creative ways to help out at schools.


Emily MacKillop, PhD

Hi, I'm Emily.  I've been a registered Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist for 13 years and am dedicated to understanding how I can best help each individual who is struggling with substance use and mental health difficulties. I enjoy spending time with my husband and two kids, and binge watching Netflix.  


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Jillian Halladay, RN, MSc

Hi, my name is Jillian, and I am a mental health nurse and researcher. I have helped with the development and evaluation of the YA-SUP. Outside of work, I like to hike, watch Netflix, try to cook, and lift weights.

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Myra Massey

Hi, my name is Myra, and I am a Research Assistant on the Young Adult Substance Use Program. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, listening to music, and outdoor adventures.

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Saba Khoshroo

Hi, my name is Saba, and I am a Research Assistant at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. I am excited to be helping out with the YA-SUP program. Outside of work I enjoy traveling/adventures, watching true crime docuseries and hanging out with friends.  

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Mackenzie Mawson

Hi, my name is Mackenzie (she/her), I am a Research Assistant with the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. I also work full time as a Registered Nurse. I am very passionate about mental health and advocating for a more inclusive health care system.  I love going up north and enjoying the beautiful scenery, especially in the fall.



James MacKillop, PhD

I'm James and I direct the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. I'm a psychologist and I'm interested in understanding the causes of substance use challenges and the best ways people can make changes in their lives. Outside of work, my wife and I wrangle two kids and a dog, and I'm a running enthusiast.

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Catherine McCarron, MSW

Hello, my name is Catherine, and I'm both a registered social worker and manager of the Young Adult Substance Use Program. In my free time I enjoy sailing and going on adventures with my niece and nephew.

One-Page Overview

Loved Ones Education Group 

Detailed Program Overview

YA-SUP Pamphlet

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