Addiction research centres and the nurturing of creativity: The Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, Canada


Tim Stockwell, Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Box STN CSC 1700, BC, Canada. E-mail:


The Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia (CARBC) was established as a multi-campus and multi-disciplinary research centre administered by the University of Victoria (UVic) in late 2003. Its core funding is provided from interest payments on an endowment of CAD$10.55 million. It is supported by a commitment to seven faculty appointments in various departments at UVic. The Centre has two offices, an administration and research office in Victoria and a knowledge exchange unit in Vancouver. The two offices are collaborating on the implementation of CARBC's first 5-year plan which seeks to build capacity in British Columbia for integrated multi-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange in the areas substance use, addictions and harm reduction. Present challenges include losses to the endowment caused by the 2008/2009 economic crisis and difficulties negotiating faculty positions with the university administration. Despite these hurdles, to date each year has seen increased capacity for the Centre in terms of affiliated scientists, funding and staffing as well as output in terms of published reports, electronic resources and impacts on policy and practice. Areas of special research interest include: drug testing in the work-place, epidemiological monitoring, substance use and injury, pricing and taxation policies, privatization of liquor monopolies, polysubstance use, health determinants of indigenous peoples, street-involved youth and other vulnerable populations at risk of substance use problems. Further information about the Centre and its activities can be found on