Evidence-based planning of alcohol and other drug treatment services in BC: A collaborative effort between CARBC and the Ministry of Health

As researchers, our ultimate goal is to provide evidence-based information that will go on to inform policy and practice. Recently, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to do just that.

For 18 months, the Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC) has been collaborating on a project with the BC Ministry of Health. The Ministry’s initiative was to create 500 substance-use treatment spaces throughout the province; however, they wanted to know where these spaces would be best utilized. Would it be in the more Northern communities where substance-use treatment is scarcer? Or would it be in more busy urban areas where demand for these services is higher? These were some questions that a small team here at CARBC, alongside some key individuals within the Ministry, sought to answer.

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Authors:

Chantele Joordens and Scott Macdonald, Centre for Addictions Research of BC

Joanne MacMillan, Ministry of Health

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Drinking, Disease and Distance: Access and use of primary health care services for treatment of alcohol-attributed diseases in rural BC

Since the turn of the century, there has been a sharp decrease in the proportion of the population that resides in rural and remote British Columbia (BC) communities. In 2011, 86% of British Columbians (3,790,694) lived in urban areas, whereas only 14% of the population, or 609,363 persons, resided in rural communities. Although a much smaller proportion of the population lives in rural areas, these communities have disproportionately higher rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related hospitalizations than urban areas of BC, such as Vancouver and Richmond. These higher rates of alcohol-related harms, when combined with poor access to health care, can result in greater disease severity and increased rates of alcohol-related deaths. Although these challenges have existed for many decades, we still have an incomplete understanding of the barriers to obtaining addictions treatment services, which is important information that could be used to inform health care policy and resource allocation decisions throughout the province.

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slaunwhite-amanda

Author: Amanda K Slaunwhite, Collaborating Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC; Post-Doctoral Fellow,  University of New Brunswick.

Systems planning – like grocery shopping

When I entered the substance-use field as an outpatient counsellor many years ago, I thought my biggest challenge was to concentrate on what the client was trying to communicate to me as being their main issue. It turns out I was only partially correct in this assumption. In actuality, the biggest challenge was to make some sense of how funding and resource decisions were being made to support the development or growth of different services for the people we serve at the larger systems level…

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A photo of Sherry Mumford

Author: Sherry Mumford, Director, Substance Use services, Mental Health and Substance Use program, Fraser Health