One of the generally accepted assumptions about drinking is that women who are pregnant should not do it at all. "No amount is safe" is the mantra. That was thrown at me by CBC's Matt Galloway (an otherwise well-informed, critical interviewer) when I mentioned drinking and pregnancy and the stigma women face in the event… Continue reading Distortions: About drinking, pregnancy, and the power of rhetoric.
Distortions: Give up it’s all over you’ve already drunk too much loser
Probably one of the most powerful statements I've received from people who have written me to thank my for my perspective on the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction low risk guidance on alcohol have come from people for whom these guidelines (and the dire though problematic statement that more than 7 drinks "radically"… Continue reading Distortions: Give up it’s all over you’ve already drunk too much loser
Distortions: Am I really going to get tuberculosis from drinking?
No. Ok, let's be scholarly: not likely. Read on. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), there is a link between alcohol consumption and tuberculosis (TB) worthy of your attention. In their report released for consultation (in August 2022), TB was at the bottom of the table of potential harms. See… Continue reading Distortions: Am I really going to get tuberculosis from drinking?
Distortions. The Temperance movement, or Why I’m having deja vu when I read this stuff
I'll admit, I'm a booze history nerd with a bunch of letters after my name. During my undergrad I did a paper on the Woman's Christian Temperament Union (WCTU) in London Ontario, and from that I did a Masters on the WCTU in Ontario (it was terrible but nudged me through to my PhD). I… Continue reading Distortions. The Temperance movement, or Why I’m having deja vu when I read this stuff
Distortions: Choose your own adventure
I have extracted a list of the articles upon which the CCSA has based its new guidelines. As I've noted elsewhere (repeatedly) they used sixteen, not nearly 6000 (extracted from 5915 studies). These were considered the only "high quality" studies although in their assessment some were considered low quality. (Read it yourself here, if you… Continue reading Distortions: Choose your own adventure
Distortions. The message and the messaging
When the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction released its Guidance on Alcohol and Health (opens in a new page so you can follow along) it was after a period of public consultation. I spent a lot of time reading the report released in August, talking about it with colleague and friends, and generally… Continue reading Distortions. The message and the messaging
Distortions: Relative risk and cirrhosis of the liver
In the new "Guidance on Alcohol and Health" the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction includes some shocking tables of risks of death by certain conditions (on pp25-26), dividing the data by biological sex (male and female) and colour coding higher risk in screaming red shading. No attempt at panic building here (I'm being… Continue reading Distortions: Relative risk and cirrhosis of the liver
Distortions. Alcohol harms in perspective
I've been spending a lot of time reading, thinking, and talking about current "low risk alcohol guidelines" released by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. This is an organization that is at least partly funded by Health Canada and has government representatives on its board, so when people internationally look to these guidelines… Continue reading Distortions. Alcohol harms in perspective
Drug history and [sub]cultures
I had the chance to speak at a virtual summer school held by the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) at the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University (the Centre is a shared operation). I was a last minute addition because my colleague Jim Mills, an expert in Asian drug… Continue reading Drug history and [sub]cultures
Drug control wasn’t initially about addiction, it was about death
If you are trying to understand drug control, it is a presentist mistake to begin with opium. (presentism is the fallacy of judging or viewing the past through values and ideas of the present, rather than understanding them in their historical context.) Although many national and international agreements signed at the beginning of the 20th… Continue reading Drug control wasn’t initially about addiction, it was about death