Goodbye CARBC, hello CISUR

- Amanda Farrell-Low

What’s in a name? For UVic’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC), many things. Which is why it’s now known as the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR).

The name change follows an extensive consultation process with scientists, researchers and stakeholders, and was approved by the UVic Senate in November.

“Our organization has grown and changed dramatically since its inception nearly 15 years ago,” says CISUR director Tim Stockwell. “Our new title more accurately reflects the nature of our work and the scale on which we’re operating.”

The decision to change the name from BC to Canadian reflects the national and international scope of many of CISUR’s activities. For example, investigations on how alcohol policy impacts health have involved collaborations with organizations in the UK, Sweden, the US, Australia and other countries.

Overall, CISUR has over 100 collaborating scientists and centres, research affiliates, partner institutions and community collaborators spread across Canada and around the world.

It was felt that the term “institute” is a more accurate representation of the breadth of expertise among CISUR’s faculty and students, as well as the scale of research and knowledge mobilization activities.

The change from “addiction” to “substance use” was chosen to reflect the institute’s focus on broad patterns of substance use across society and policies that influence overall levels of use and harm. CISUR’s mandate extends beyond exclusively addressing what might traditionally be referred to as “addiction.”

The name change comes at a time when CISUR’s work is more important than ever, says Stockwell.

“Our favourite recreational substance, alcohol, is being rapidly deregulated,” he says. “Less hazardous, but not completely safe ways of using nicotine have been discovered. The use of and harms from both prescription and illicit opioids have reached epidemic proportions. And cannabis is about to be legalized.”


In this story

Keywords: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, administrative

People: Tim Stockwell

Publication: The Ring

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