Researchers at Université de Sherbrooke receive funding for new projects to help reduce the harmful effects of alcohol use
May 13, 2022 – Longueuil, Quebec – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Today, Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, announced funding of nearly $200,000 for two research projects that will be led by researchers at Université de Sherbrooke. The projects will provide evidence to inform interventions to prevent serious harms related to alcohol use and support Canadians experiencing issues with alcohol use, which is the most commonly used substance in the country. While its consumption is legal and socially acceptable, alcohol use causes significant harm to the health and safety of Canadians and can aggravate societal problems such as homelessness.
Dr. Marie Claude Ouimet has received $100,000 to study how to prevent people who have been charged with impaired driving from repeating the offence. Dr. Ouimet will collaborate with health professionals and traffic safety experts to collect and analyze data on the policies and processes for managing cases of impaired driving in Quebec. The project will lead to new approaches for assessing offenders and targeting interventions to prevent them for driving impaired in the future. While the rate of impaired driving has declined significantly over the last few decades, it remains a major public safety issue in Canada.
Dr. Vincent Wagner has received $99,890 for a project that aims to improve access to treatment programs for people who are experiencing issues with alcohol use, aging, and homelessness. This research will guide the development of interventions to address the complex needs of this group who are at high risk of harm. Many Canadians experiencing issues with alcohol use also face challenges in other areas of their lives.
These projects are two of 20 new research projects that were recently funded through a partnership between the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction and the Canadian Cancer Society. This research will generate data and evidence that will increase our knowledge base on the harms related to alcohol use and how to prevent and minimize them.
“Alcohol use continues to be a significant risk to the health outcomes of individuals, families,
and communities. This research will help inform policies to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm and guide strategies to better support the health of people in Quebec and all across Canada.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
“I am very proud of researchers like Dr. Ouimet and Dr. Wagner from the University of Sherbrooke, who are leaders in research on the prevention of alcohol-related impacts. Congratulations to you both for this new funding, which will help prevent impaired driving and make it easier for Quebecers and Canadians to access the services they need to support their health and well-being.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke
“Understanding the effects of alcohol on individuals and society is essential to develop appropriate programs and policies to support the health of all people in Canada. CIHR is pleased to support high-quality research that will generate the evidence to advance our understanding of alcohol use, foster alcohol-related research capacity, and reduce the alcohol-related harms experienced by groups at increased risk.”
Dr. Samuel Weiss
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in Canada. In 2019, three quarters of Canadians reported consuming an alcoholic beverage in the past year.
Consuming alcohol carries serious health and safety risks. In 2017, alcohol use contributed to more than 18,000 deaths and 105,000 hospitalizations in Canada.
COVID-19 pandemic has caused some Canadians to increase their alcohol use. According to the Chief Public Health Officer’s report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2020, alcohol use rose 14% during the first weeks of the pandemic and an additional 5% by May 2020.
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada’s health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.
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