Posted by Leigh Hewer on Feb 02, 2021
Bob France introduced Izabela Szelest of Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society (CAUDS) and Aaron McRann with Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen (CFSOS). CAUD is a new Society that was formed in September 2020 to formalize the efforts of Dr Jeff Harries of Penticton, BC who treated patients with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).  Dr. Jeff Harries has been providing medical treatment for patients with AUD for years, but in 2017, he came to realize that a majority of patients and providers didn’t have access to the latest proven and effective medical treatments. He saw this knowledge and practice gap as a challenge and a call to action. AUD is misunderstood and mistreated chronic disease and it contributes to other diseases, e.g. cancer or liver disease. Less than 8% of individuals with AUD seek treatment and less than 1% receive treatment. The impact is significant and directly affects 18% of the population, and indirectly almost everyone. In 2017 alcohol accounted for $16.6 billion of the total cost of substance use (opioids - $5.9 billion), including healthcare, loss of productivity, criminal justice, and other Healthcare costs: $5.4 billion (opioids - $439 million). From Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Report, 2015 2017
There are 6 available medications to treat AUD, 4 approved in the BC clinical management of high-risk-drinking. These treatments have been available since 90s, so efficacy is approved and available on the market. Costs range from $25 - $150 per month with some are covered by provincial plans. Treatments are non-habit forming and need to be taken only for a few months.
The purpose of the Society is to provide hope and improve quality of life by advancing proven and effective treatments of AUD, and to facilitate a more compassionate perception of this disorder. The Society develops and promotes scientific knowledge relating to AUD as well as create a sense of hope to care providers, patients, families, and the general public. Provide support and advocate for change in policy and practice with support and to increase awareness.
The CFSOS is the backbone organization for the CAUD Society, assisting with grant applications, fundraising, donations and strategic direction. The Foundation is also committed to leveraging the vast nationwide network of community foundations to help spread the word, at a grassroots level, about the work of CAUDS and expand it to a national scope.
For more information visit