Research : Centre for Addictions Research of B.C.
Collaborative relationships: Dynamic, collaborative relationships are essential for maintaining relevance to the multi-faceted concerns related to substance use and addictions. Key relationships include those with policy makers, researchers from many disciplines, practitioners and people with personal experience of substance use, addictions and related problems.
Independent research: Protection from vested interests is essential to ensure that rigorous research is conducted and communicated clearly with a view only to furthering the public interest. This will be ensured through excluding representatives of alcohol, tobacco and gaming industries from membership of the Advisory Board and not accepting direct research funding from such sources.
Ethics, social equity and justice: Commitment to solid ethical principles governing internal and external relationships, financial management, the conduct of research and the communication of research findings. A commitment to the promotion of equity and fairness and the pursuit of social justice through attention to the impact of the social determinants that shape substance use and the development of health inequities.
Reducing risk and increasing protection: Attention is required to both immediate factors (e.g., behavioural patterns and contexts) and distal factors (e.g., social, economic and developmental influences) to effectively address the harms from substance use and addictions across the life course.
Harm reduction: Recognition that some people will continue to use psychoactive substances and experience addictions, so that strategies are needed to reduce harmful consequences in addition to those that aim to directly reduce or prevent high risk behaviours.
Informed public debate: Commitment to informing public debate to achieve effective public policy on substance use and addictions through the communication of research findings.
The Centre for Addictions Research of BC is working to realize its mission in the following ways:
Building new capacity while complementing existing strengths: CARBC added to its multi-disciplinary faculty by helping UVic to recruit Dr Karen Urbanoski as a Canada Research Chair in Substance Use, Addictions and Health Services Research. CARBC scientists now span the disciplines of sociology, nursing, health information sciences, anthropology, epidemiology, criminology, psychology and public health.
Supporting Multidisciplinary Approaches to Substance Use and Addictions: Problematic substance use stems from a complex mix of biological, psychological and social causes. Research on substance use and addictions, on the other hand, has traditionally been conducted within separate disciplines singularly focused on either the biomedical and clinical or socio-cultural and prevention dimensions of addictions, limiting the exchange of knowledge across the disciplines and to the knowledge users. While the focus of the Centre’s programs is on the psycho-social aspects of substance use and addictions, we promote collaboration among researchers drawn from a broad range of disciplinary areas including biomedical, psychological, social, epidemiological and historical perspectives.
Networking and Partnerships: Research centres at the University of Victoria have a strong record of fostering collaboration among a variety of institutional partners and community stakeholders. To this end, the Centre, while located at the University of Victoria, is based on a model of cooperation among the key research-based stakeholders in BC. To ensure the Centre facilitates research activities throughout the Province and that stakeholders have a meaningful voice in the activities, there is a commitment to involving the stakeholders in the development of the Centre’s research priorities and projects.
Knowledge Translation and Knowledge Brokering: CARBC is committed to facilitating linkage and exchange between researchers, policy makers, professionals and communities and to developing capacity as a knowledge broker within these relationships. This involves providing easy access to evidence based information that can be used by a range of audiences in various settings (e.g., research, policy, service system, community). In particular, the Centre seeks to ensure policy makers from all levels of government have access to practice and policy-relevant evidence provided in a clear manner.