News & events

The Public Health Benefits of Alcohol Regulation - CARBC leads new international report

Tim Stockwell, director of UVic’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC, led an international group of researchers contracted by Systembolaget—the Swedish government alcohol monopoly responsible for take-away alcohol sales—to measure the health and safety benefits of retaining the monopoly.

CARBC's Cecilia Benoit Honoured with a 2017 UVic Provost's Engaged Scholar award

The award celebrates tenured faculty members who have made significant contributions to community through their integration of outstanding scholarship, inspired teaching and community engagement. These efforts yield positive societal change in many dimensions that affect us all.

CARBC study finds alcohol-prostate cancer link

A new collaborative study done by researchers at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC) at the University of Victoria and Australia’s National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University provides new evidence of a significant relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of prostate cancer. The article appears in BMC Cancer, a peer-reviewed online journal.

Estimating under- and over-reporting of drinking in national surveys of alcohol consumption: New paper

A new CARBC-led paper in the journal Addiction looks at patterns of under- and over-reporting of alcohol consumption in national surveys across four countries. Read the full article here:

CARBC-led international study finds no health benefits from moderate drinking

Will that glass of wine with dinner help you live longer? Not likely, according to a new study. Many studies have reported protective health benefits from moderate drinking, ranging from a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, to better immunity against colds. The paper, published today in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, reanalyzes data from 87 long-term studies on alcohol use and mortality, involving a total of nearly four million people. It provides evidence that research has over-estimated possible health benefits of alcohol and under-estimated its health risks.

CARBC research: Many more young Canadians at risk of alcohol-related harms

Many more young people are at risk of harm from alcohol than previously estimated shows a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health by researchers at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC). The CARBC analysis shows as many as 60 per cent of 18-24 year old drinkers were consistently drinking above national low-risk drinking guidelines (LRDG) for daily consumption. The study, which corrects survey results for under-reporting, also shows that nearly 40 per cent of all Canadian drinkers exceeded daily drinking limits set to minimize short-term harms, and 27 per cent exceeded weekly limits to minimize risk for long-term health problems. The national guidelines, in place since 2011, set a daily limit of three standard drinks for women and four for men to minimize short-term health impacts of drinking such as accidents, injuries and acute illnesses. They set a weekly maximum of 10 drinks for women and 15 drinks for men to minimize risk of long-term health impacts such as cancer and liver disease. New methods developed by CARBC and released in 2014, used a national sample of 43,242 Canadians aged 15 years and older to analyze and correct for under-reporting in alcohol surveys. Under-reporting was rife in all age groups, but was most pronounced among younger drinkers. Read the full press release. To read the abstract of the report An adaptation of the Yesterday Method to correct for under-reporting of alcohol consumption and estimate compliance with Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines:

New paper: Minimum pricing linked to 9% drop in crime

A new report released today shows how raising the price of the cheapest alcohol sold in off-licences can result in fewer crimes and traffic violations. Published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the research paper finds that over a nine-year period, a 10% increase in minimum alcohol prices at liquor outlets in the Canadian province of British Columbia was linked with a 9.17% reduction in crimes against persons, a 19% reduction in alcohol-related traffic violations, and a 9.39% reduction in total rates of crime outcomes examined. These results add to the growing body of evidence that says alcohol-pricing policies can be highly effective tools for reducing alcohol-related harms. Professor Tim Stockwell, lead author of the report, said: “These data show a significant reduction in rates of crime following increases in the minimum price of alcohol in British Colombia. We have already seen substantial reductions in alcohol related deaths linked to this policy in Canada, so it appears that minimum pricing is a powerful tool for reducing alcohol-related harm at the individual and societal level.” Read the full press release. Relationships Between Minimum Alcohol Pricing and Crime During the Partial Privatization of a Canadian Government Alcohol Monopoly Abstract Objective: The purpose of this study was to estimate the independent effects of increases in minimum alcohol prices and densities of private liquor stores on crime outcomes in British Columbia, Canada, during a partial privatization of off-premise liquor sales. Method: A time-series cross-sectional panel study was conducted using mixed model regression analysis to explore associations between minimum alcohol prices, densities of liquor outlets, and crime outcomes across 89 local health areas of British Columbia between 2002 and 2010. Archival data on minimum alcohol prices, per capita alcohol outlet densities, and ecological demographic characteristics were related to measures of crimes against persons, alcohol-related traffic violations, and non–alcohol-related traffic violations. Analyses were adjusted for temporal and regional autocorrelation. Results: A 10% increase in provincial minimum alcohol prices was associated with an 18.81% (95% CI: ±17.99%, p < .05) reduction in alcohol-related traffic violations, a 9.17% (95% CI: ±5.95%, p < .01) reduction in crimes against persons, and a 9.39% (95% CI: ±3.80%, p < .001) reduction in total rates of crime outcomes examined. There was no significant association between minimum alcohol prices and non–alcohol-related traffic violations (p > .05). Densities of private liquor stores were not significantly associated with alcohol-involved traffic violations or crimes against persons, though they were with non–alcohol-related traffic violations. Conclusions: Reductions in crime events associated with minimum-alcohol-price changes were more substantial and specific to alcohol-related events than the countervailing increases in densities of private liquor stores. The findings lend further support to the application of minimum alcohol prices for public health and safety objectives. DOI:

Study Confirms Breast Cancer Link to Low Alcohol Use

A newly published study from the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC (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 per cent increase in the risk, compared to abstaining from alcohol.

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 per cent to self-reported statistics on alcohol consumption. But even this is too low.

- Sparking Conversations: Turning the Tide on the Opioid Crisis - 2017-05-24


Hear the evidence and join the conversation about action and responses to the overdose emergency. Led by a diverse panel of experts, this event will cover a broad range of topics, from theimpact of the crisis on Vancouver Island to the role of stigma, the changing service landscape, the power of peer and family support, and the case for innovation in the way we view and treataddiction.

This event is a collaboration between Island Health, the University of Victoria's Centre for Addictions Research of BC, and SOLID (Society of Living Illicit Drug Users).


2:00-2:15 pm: A Discourse on Our Dependency on Current Opioid Overdose Numbers: Stigma, Statistics and Stasis

Dr. Richard Stanwick, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), FAAP; Chief Medical Health Officer, Public Health.

2:15-2:30: From Evidence to Implementation: Responding to BC’s Overdose Emergency

Bernie Pauly, RN, PhD; Associate Professor, School of Nursing; Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC; UVIC Provost’s Community Engaged Scholar; Island Health Scholar inResidence

2:30-2:45: It’s Our Community: Peer Work in an Overdose Crisis

Jack Phillips, Outreach Coordinator; Peer Support Coordinator; Community Advocate; Overdose Response Worker, SOLID (Society of Living Illicit Drug Users)

2:45-3:00: Critical Engagement: Collaborative Research throughout the Overdose Crisis

Bruce Wallace, PhD; Assistant Professor, School of Social Work; Collaborating Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC, University of Victoria

3:15-3:30: Compassion in Action: Practices of Inclusion and Engagement

Stephanie McCune, PhD; Substance Use Knowledge Exchange Manager, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Island Health

3:30-3:45: Docs Prescribing Heroin... Wow!

Dr. Ramm Hering (MD CCFP MSc Dip PH, Dip ABAM); Addiction Medicine Physician, Pandora Clinic; Island Health Physician Lead, South Island Rapid Access Addiction Clinic and Addiction MedicineConsult Service

This event is part of Five Days in May 2017, Island Health's flagship health research month. Five Days in May is designed to educate, inform, inspire, and stimulate. Every year, we bringtogether researchers and students, patients and healthcare providers, decision-makers and members of the public to share ideas and spark innovation.

Times:14:00 - 16:00

Free, but pre-registration is required.


MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD: Research and Possibilities - 2017-05-26

Description:After a 50 year hiatus, psychedelic medicines are being studied again for possible uses in psychotherapy of such conditions as PTSD, end-of-life anxiety and addictions. A Vancouver team waspart of a multisite Phase 2 research study into MDMA (street name: “ecstasy”)-assisted psychotherapy of PTSD. It was completed last year. The experience of participating in this study and resultsfrom Canadian and US research will be presented. About the Speaker Dr. Ingrid Pacey comes from a Lithuanian family which migrated to Australia in 1949. She came to Canada in 1967 after completing medical school at the University of New South Wales, Sydney,Australia. She received her psychiatric training at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, graduating in 1972. While in medical school, she witnessed LSD psychotherapy in a psychiatricsetting as part of her training. Her private practice in Vancouver became focused on psychotherapy for trauma survivors, particularly women who had been sexually abused as children. From 1987 - 1990,she trained with Dr. Stanislav and Christina Grof in Holotropic Breathwork. Over the next 14 years, she went on to pioneer the use of Holotropic Breathwork with trauma survivors, observing thespecial needs of people with PTSD when working in Holotropic Breathwork groups. Through this work she came to see the value of working with nonordinary states of consciousness for people sufferingfrom PTSD. Dr. Pacey continues to practice psychiatry in Vancouver, and she has lectured in Canada and the US.
Location:Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre Room S169 (Lecture Theatre) 1952 Bay St., Victoria, V8R 1J8 -
Times:12:00 - 13:00

Free. Available via webinar at