Lifelong interest steers career

Social Sciences

- Anne MacLaurin

Vanier Scholar, Sybil Goulet-Stock
Vanier Scholar, Sybil Goulet-Stock (photo supplied).

Sybil Goulet-Stock, a Vanier scholar and psychology doctoral researcher, didn’t just stumble into the world of substance use research—her journey began with a personal revelation.

I applied for my first research position in the field of substance use and addictions research after a friend confided his struggle with opiates.”

— Sybil Goulet-Stock, Vanier scholar

What began as a personal interest in substance use and addictions research became a professional interest for Goulet-Stock. She aspires to work in an environment that facilitates collaboration and knowledge exchange between interdisciplinary graduate students, faculty and researchers.

“Due to its international reputation, I chose to pursue a graduate degree specializing in substance use research at UVic's Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research,” says Goulet-Stock, who will examine alcohol use in Canada and the impact of mandatory health warning labels on products.

Under the guidance of Dr. Tim Stockwell, the former director of UVic's Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, her doctoral program encompasses two studies.

Recently, Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs) were updated to reflect new evidence of the risks of alcohol use—a central recommendation is mandatory health warning labels.

In my first study, I will evaluate novel alcohol warning labels (AWLs) that are consistent with the LRDGs, which will generate timely evidence on AWLs that may inform evidence-based policy reform across Canada."

— Sybil Goulet-Stock

In the second study Goulet-Stock will examine patterns of alcohol and cannabis use, and the associated harms in unstably housed individuals with severe alcohol use disorders who are engaged in novel cannabis substitution programs. The study will generate important evidence on whether cannabis substitution for alcohol use can reduce harm, which will inform alcohol harm reduction approaches for vulnerable Canadians. 

Our research partners include four community programs, one of which is an Indigenous-led program that has introduced cannabis in a culturally situated manner." 

— Sybil Goulet-Stock

She explains how the study will also produce guidance to Indigenous communities for the introduction of cannabis in relation to alcohol harm reduction.

Together with the Canadian Managed Alcohol Program Study (CMAPS) team, Goulet-Stock is currently developing a tool to standardize cannabis units—like the standard drink—which will allow for comparisons of cannabis consumption across various ingestion methods and will help cannabis users better understand their own consumption patterns.

My future goal is to become an independent researcher in an academic or policy-oriented setting dedicated to research and knowledge exchange around substance use, addiction, harm reduction and policy.”

— Sybil Goulet-Stock

She completed her undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology with a minor in Neuroscience at McGill University. After finishing an Honours Psychology at Mount Allison University, Goulet-Stock pursued a graduate degree specializing in substance use research at UVic. She also completed two years as the graduate student representative on the Human Research Ethics Board at UVic.


In this story

Keywords: community, research, addiction, psychology, alcohol

People: Sybil Goulet-Stock

Related stories