Addiction Centre Launched

November 27, 2003, vol. 28, no. 7
By Marianne Meadahl

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Criminologist Raymond Corrado (left) expects SFU will play a prominent role in a new $10 million research centre that will focus on addiction.

Housed at the University of Victoria, the centre for addictions research of B.C. involves a partnership of all four B.C. universities.

Funding is being provided by the B.C. Addictions Foundation, which was established at the recommendation of the B.C. addictions task force in 2001.

Corrado, an expert on youth crime, is SFU's representative on the centre team. He will spend the next few months canvassing SFU researchers in various schools and departments whose research is linked to addiction. “I'll be drawing our expertise from a wide range of areas including psychology, criminology, kinesiology and communication,” says Corrado. “With such a wide range of ongoing and potential research, SFU will be well-represented in the centre's work.”

The centre's mandate covers a range of addictions, everything from substance abuse to problem gambling. Led by University of Victoria psychologist Bonnie Leadbeater, it will provide the first coordinated effort into addiction research in B.C.

Addiction research has typically been conducted within separate disciplines, limiting the transfer of knowledge between researchers. Corrado says the centre will make it easier for those in their various fields to collaborate on population health research that targets the causes, prevention and treatment of addictions.

Expertise will include researchers with background in the biomedical causes of addictions, the social dimensions of addiction, particularly related to youth and aboriginal health, and health service delivery to remote populations.

The first year will see a special emphasis on the areas of fetal alcohol syndrome, addictions related to mental illness and the prevention of addiction among youth, an area with connections to Corrado's ongoing study of incarcerated juveniles, in particular, repeat offenders.

The centre's advisory board is made up of university, community and government partners. Research units are being established at each of the partner universities, including UBC, UNBC and SFU.

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