News & events

CISUR's new Director is here!

After a lengthy international search, CISUR finally has a new director—and it’s Tim. No, not that Tim. The other Tim. Dr. Tim Naimi officially started his tenure at CISUR’s new director August 17, having relocated from Boston with his family. He replaces Dr. Tim Stockwell, who was director at CISUR from its inception in 2004 until August 2020. Stockwell will remain at CISUR as a Scientist.

Substance use in Canada costs almost $46 billion

Substance use costs Canadian society almost $46 billion a year (2017) or almost $1,258 for every person in Canada. This data comes from Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms 2015–2017, a report released today by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR).

Even ‘low-risk’ drinking can be harmful

It’s not just heavy drinking that’s a problem -- even consuming alcohol within weekly low-risk drinking guidelines can result in hospitalization and death, according to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Moderate drinkers “are not insulated from harm,” write researchers led by Adam Sherk, Ph.D., of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

Cecilia Benoit wins Killam Prize

From advocating for the recognition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous midwives, to working with street-involved youth, to empowering sex workers to become their own health advocates, sociologist Cecilia Benoit has made vital contributions to the advancement of class, race and gender equality in Canada. A scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) and professor emerita of sociology at the University of Victoria has been awarded the 2020 Killam Prize in Social Sciences from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Alcohol consumption in BC levels off

When it comes to drinking, British Columbians still like to tipple more than the Canadian average—but new numbers from UVic’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) show a decrease in BC’s alcohol consumption for the first time in nearly a decade. After seeing steady growth in per-capita consumption of alcohol every year for the past several years, CISUR’s latest data shows a dip in BC’s consumption for the first time since 2012/13, going from 9.44 litres of absolute ethanol in 2017/18 to 9.35 litres in 2018/19.

Bevel Up: A groundbreaking professional learning resource for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the overdose crisis

Bevel Up, an award-winning documentary and learning resource to help healthcare workers deliver compassionate care to people who use drugs, is available for the first time as free online harm-reduction content at Created in 2007 by the outreach nursing team from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Bevel Up is designed to give students and instructors in the healthcare field access to the knowledge and experience of pioneering practitioners, as street nurses in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside deliver nonjudgmental, compassionate and trauma-informed healthcare to people who use drugs.

New report cards on policies to reduce alcohol harms in Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories

A new Health-Canada-funded study, led by the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, provides report cards for each province and territory on how well they implement policies proven to reduce the harms and economic costs from alcohol use.

Drug checking project responds to ongoing overdose crisis

An innovative program designed by a chemist and social worker (CISUR's Bruce Wallace) at the University of Victoria is being piloted at Victoria harm reduction sites to provide a quick, accurate chemical analysis of drugs in order to prevent overdoses while also comparing and evaluating different drug-checking technologies.

Made-in-BC blueprint for overdose prevention

When the BC government began opening overdose prevention sites (OPS) across the province two years ago, it was an unprecedented response to the overdose crisis. Unlike supervised consumption sites (SCS), which were subject to lengthy (and often onerous) approval processes, OPS were rolled out quickly and led by community members on the front lines of the public-health emergency. In the early weeks of the sites being established in Victoria, researchers with the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) collaborated with several community agencies to learn from these innovative overdose prevention strategies.

Alcohol warning labels about cancer risk a Canadian first

Starting today, warning labels cautioning consumers about the link between alcohol use and an increased risk of breast and colon cancer will be applied to all bottles and cans sold at the Whitehorse liquor store. This specific labelling, part of the Northern Territories Alcohol study led by the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR, formerly CARBC) and Public Health Ontario (PHO), is a first for Canada.