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 resources for an uncertain future
Since this blog is supposed to be about drug history, and since I've been woefully negligent in "blogging," I figured I'd take the opportunity to turn it, however, temporarily, into a teaching resource. In the next few weeks I'm going to post or link to useful resources on the history of drugs, both in Canada… Continue reading Drug history resources for an uncertain future
Good drugs and their bad tendencies
After several decades of working on this (ok, worked on it in the 90s then took some time away) my book, When Good Drugs Go Bad: Opium, Medicine, and the Origins of Canada's Drug Laws has been released. You can order a copy of the hardcover here. And for reference, here is a picture of… Continue reading Good drugs and their bad tendencies