Addiction's Mysteries: Plato, Rat Pack and Harm Reduction

CARBC’s free public lecture by Dr. Bruce Alexander on September 12 at the Royal Jubilee Hospital is available for viewing. Dr. Alexander began trying to understand addiction as a laboratory researcher. However, the still unsolved mysteries of addiction eventually drew him from the a-historical thinking of the behavioral and neuroscience laboratories to history. This presentation starts with Plato’s theory of addiction in declining democratic societies, transitions to the history of alcoholism and drug addiction in BC, and ends by considering both the value and limitations of harm reduction, as well as what may come next. This and other CARBC lectures and videos are available on our YouTube channel linked here.

Towards Alcohol Harm Reduction: Preliminary Results from an Evaluation of a Canadian Managed Alcohol Program

This CARBC report presents an evaluation of a Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) currently being provided for homeless men and women in the Thunder Bay, Ontario region who have severe problems relating to alcohol use and homelessness. The aims of this research were to establish whether the MAP was contributing to (i) improvements in health and well-being of participants, (ii) reductions in their use of emergency, hospital and police services, and (iii) less hazardous patterns of alcohol use, including reduced use of non-beverage alcohol. The authors also aimed to inform the development of future program and policy recommendations. This was a pilot study for a national research program funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research for the evaluation of five MAPs in Ontario and British Columbia. Learn more about Managed Alcohol Programs.

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.

iMinds: Resources for Today's Classrooms - Because a "just say no" kind of approach just doesn't work

Posted by Cindy Andrews on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

Once upon a time, I saw a cartoon that featured a teenager deciding what T-shirt to put on — one said “Just Do It!” and the other said “Just Say No!” This image, while humourous in some respects, prompted me, and no doubt other viewers, to reflect on the mixed signals young people face — and more importantly, what we (the “royal we”) can do to help them navigate this complex world successfully. Read more


What is Drug Education?

Posted by Kara Thompson on Wednesday, September 10, 2014.

When we hear the words “drug education,” we often conjure up an image of a police officer in front of a classroom talking about the dangers of trying drugs. But these outdated (and often ineffective) school-based drug education programs are not the be-all end-all of drug ed. As the prevalence of alcohol and drug use, experiences of substance-related harms and societal costs of substance use have increased, so too has the demand for alcohol and drug education and awareness programs. 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

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

Op/Ed: Decriminalizing commercial sex is the right thing to do
Date: March 14, 2014
Source: Cecilia Benoit for the Vancouver Sun

Evidence of Impacts of Managed Alcohol Programs in Canada
Date: March 10, 2014
Source: University of Victoria

Op/Ed: Help young people make good choices
Date: March 7, 2014
Source: Times Colonist

... 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

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