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.

Drinking, Disease and Distance: Access and use of primary healthcare services for treatment of alcohol-attributed disease in rural BC

Posted by Amanda Slaunwhite on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

Since the turn of the century, there has been a sharp decrease in the proportion of the population that resides in rural and remote BC communities. In 2011, 86% of British Columbians lived in urban areas, whereas only 14% of the population resided in rural communities. Although a much smaller proportion of the population lives in rural areas, these communities have disproportionately higher rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related hospitalizations than urban areas of BC, such as Vancouver and Richmond. Read the rest of this post on our new site.

Systems Planning - like grocery shopping

Posted by Sherry Mumford on Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

When I entered the substance use field as an outpatient counsellor many years ago, I thought my biggest challenge was to concentrate on what the client was trying to communicate to me as being their main issue. It turns out I was only partially correct in this assumption. In actuality, the biggest challenge was to make some sense of how funding and resource decisions were being made to support the development or growth of different services for the people we serve at the larger systems level… Read the rest of this post on our new site.

Latest News & Notes

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.

CARBC Director joins in call for tobacco harm reduction

Over 50 leading scientists from 15 countries have appealed 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

... more news and notes

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

... more news items

Upcoming events

Understanding Sex Work: Evidence, faith and popular perceptions
Date: March 3, 2015 - 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria

Women and Alcohol: Breaking the Silence
Date: March 4, 2015 - 4:00-6:00 pm
Location: University of Victoria

Breaking the Silence: Women and Risky Drinking
Date: March 4, 2015 - 9:00-11:00 am
Location: UBC Boathouse, Richmond, BC

IdeaFest 2015: Ideas that can change everything
Date: March 2-7, 2015
Location: University of Victoria

The 6th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Date: March 4-7, 2015
Location: The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver

... more events