A Submission to the BC Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services regarding the 2015 BC Budget

Minimizing the availability of low-priced alcohol protects public health and safety, government revenues and Canadian industries. Minimum prices for alcoholic beverages in BC are lower than in most other provinces and have not kept pace with inflation. The 2014 BC Government Review of liquor laws specifically recommended updating and increasing minimum alcohol prices and linking these to beverage strength. While other measures that will increase alcohol availability and generally lower prices have been implemented, key minimum pricing recommendations have only been implemented in bars and not in the much larger liquor store market. Infographic

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 labels alone may be insufficient. The authors of this CARBC study investigate whether standard drink labels would improve drinkers’ accuracy when estimating personal alcohol consumption. (Note: The link is to the abstract of the study. The full study is only available to people who are subscribers or whose institutions are subscribers.)  Media Release | Infographic | Video

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.

Three surprising tips for a healthy pregnancy

Posted by Samantha Magnus on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

The do’s and don’ts of pregnancy can be overwhelming at best. For an expectant parent who is using substances, the rhetoric is clear: just don’t. But in hearing from parents themselves (during a study entitled Treatment and Prevention of Illicit Substance Use among Pregnant and Early Parenting Women), it is clear that there is a lot more to having a healthy pregnancy than abstaining from the likes of cigarettes, alcohol, opiates, etc. Read the rest of this post on our new blog site.

Selling alcohol in grocery stores: Hidden risks and alternative options

Posted by Norman Giesbrecht on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

In the last few days, we have heard about plans to permit the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores in Ontario. For the most part, media reports have made no reference to potential health and safety risks associated with the proposed changes. You would have thought that the reporters were talking about changing the distribution of milk or orange juice in Ontario. What about the possible increase in alcohol-related incidents or negative impact on vulnerable populations — is that not relevant to the discussion? Read the rest of this post on our new site.

Latest News & Notes

Equity Lens in Public Health: Graduate Student Research/Policy Internship

This project aims to improve engagement of peers in communities across BC so that equitable, comprehensive harm reduction services are available to all who need them, wherever they live, resulting in better health outcomes for these marginalized populations. The internship will provide a unique opportunity to compile successful practices for peer engagement and apply these findings to strengthen peer engagement efforts.

Alcohol-related Hospitalizations on the Rise in BC

You may want to rethink that extra glass of rum and eggnog this holiday season. The latest estimates from the BC Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Monitoring Project confirm that harms from alcohol are on the rise in the province. Rates of hospitalization due to alcohol use are also steadily catching up to those of tobacco.

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.

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CARBC In the news

CARBC Lauded for Public Policy Impact
Date: November 20, 2014
Source: University of Victoria

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

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