How much did you actually drink last night? An evaluation of standard drink labels as an aid to monitoring personal consumption

Barriers exist for drinkers who wish to comply with low-risk guidelines when these are expressed in terms of numbers of “standard drinks” of alcohol. The increasing variability of container sizes and alcoholic strengths mean that percent alcohol by volume (%ABV) labels alone may be insufficient. The authors of this CARBC study investigate whether standard drink (SD) labels would improve drinkers’ accuracy when estimating personal alcohol consumption. (Note: The link to the study is to the abstract. The full study is only available to people who are subscribers or whose institutions are subscribers.)  Media Release | Infographic | Video

Methodological Biases in Estimating the Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption and Breast Cancer

A newly published study from CARBC confirms that moderate drinkers have an increased risk of breast cancer. The study shows that consuming an average of up to two drinks a day is associated with an 8.5% increase in the risk, compared to abstaining from alcohol. Previous research investigating the relationship between low-dose alcohol use and breast cancer has sometimes produced conflicting results. Some studies found no increased risk for low-dose or "moderate" drinking. This new study, co-authored by CARBC director Tim Stockwell, former associate researcher with CARBC Cornelia Zeisser, and Tanya Chikritzhs of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University in Australia, and published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, analyzed 60 studies done before 2013.  Media Release and Infographic

CARBC Blog: Matters of Substance

People associated with CARBC are involved in a wide variety of topics and issues related to substance use and addictions. In this blog, we are able to share our work informally and encourage discussion on matters of substance.

Must we punish in order to teach?

Posted by Dan Reist on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

The great appeal of “just say no” is that it is simple – straightforward. But that simplicity replaces a broad commitment to “education” with a narrow application of “social marketing” (the art of selling someone on an idea or behaviour that promotes the social good). Nothing wrong with social marketing, but it should never be all there is to drug education. A similar narrowing process seems to have happened with our concept of discipline which has largely come to be seen as punishment. But discipline is from the root “disciple,” and a disciple is a student or apprentice – one who is learning. So how did discipline come to mean punishment? Read more

Nurturing a Healthy Relationship with Substances: A Teacher's Perspective

Posted by Jen Gibson on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

Like many teachers, I struggled to find engaging and effective learning resources which address substance use for my middle school students. At first I tried some of the statistic-heavy, scare-based sorts of resources, but they did little to engage the crew I was teaching (or me for that matter!). One day I had a conversation with a colleague who told me about the “iMinds” learning resources that he had been successfully using with his grade 7 class. I was intrigued by what I heard and decided to give them a try. Read more

Latest News & Notes

How much do Canadians lowball their drinking?

How much do we lowball the consumption of alcohol, our favourite recreational drug? A lot, as it turns out. It’s common knowledge that most of us downplay how much we drink in a given year. The World Health Organization already compensates for this by adding as much as 30% to self-reported statistics on alcohol consumption. But even this is too low. A new study published in the journal Addiction by CARBC shows that people under-report their alcohol consumption in national health surveys by 50-75%, depending on age and beverage.

CARBC Director joins in call for tobacco harm reduction

Over 50 leading scientists from 15 countries have appealed this week to the World Health Organization (WHO) to reconsider its intention to classify e-cigarettes the same as regular cigarettes, warning that they risk missing an opportunity to drastically reduce smoking and the illness and death associated with it. Scientists have known for some years that people 'smoke for the nicotine, but die from the smoke'. The death and disease from smoking arises from inhalation of tar particles and toxic gases drawn into the lungs. They argue that the WHO’s targets for reduction of tobacco consumption should be aligned with the ultimate goal of reducing disease and premature death. Media Release

Lower the Stakes: A Public Health Approach to Gambling in British Columbia

This Provincial Health Officer’s annual report examines gambling policy in BC from a public health perspective and provides recommendations for reducing the harms associated with problem gambling. This report discusses social and economic impacts of gambling and the history of gambling policy in Canada and BC, introduces a comprehensive public health framework for understanding gambling, and explores gambling trends in Canada and BC.

... more news and notes

CARBC In the news

Standard drink labels help consumers track their alcohol use and reduce risk: Study
Date: September 30, 2014
Source: Centre for Addictions Research of BC

Study Confirms Breast Cancer Link to Low Alcohol Use
Date: September 25, 2014
Source: Centre for Addictions Research of BC

National Report Offers First-Ever Look at the Canadian Sex Industry
Date: September 19, 2014
Source: University of Victoria

How much do Canadians lowball their drinking?
Date: June 5, 2014
Source: Centre for Addictions Research of BC

... more news items

Upcoming events

Out of the Shadows and Into the Sunshine: A Mental Health Information Fair
Date: October 8, 2014 - 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Student Union Building, UVic

It's not rocket science - It's much more complex!
Date: October 9, 2014 - 3:30-5:00 pm
Location: Medical Sciences Building, UVic

Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond (Book Launch)
Date: October 15, 2014 - 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver

... more events