The Alcohol Use Disorder Project

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What is alcohol use disorder?

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen hosts the AUD Project in collaboration with the Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society to provide hope by changing the way we think about alcohol use disorder and the way we treat it.

Alcohol Use Disorder is a medical condition that causes intense cravings and painful withdrawal, making it so that some people are compelled to drink, to drink too much and not be able to stop.


We recently hosted a Community Workshop in Princeton, BC where more than 50 people came together at Riverside Centre to start a community conversation about supporting care for alcohol use disorder. It was a fantastic workshop with loads of information sharing, plenty of new ideas, and commitments to ongoing action! We hope to come to your community soon. To learn more: Princeton Community Workshop.

New treatments stop cravings and withdrawal

This condition is entirely treatable. With the right prescription medication, taken for only a short period of time, cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms can be eliminated. For good.

By working with their doctor or nurse practitioner, an individual can decide their own personal drinking goals — whether to stop or simply reduce consumption. In other words, how much someone drinks doesn’t have to be a compulsion. It can become their choice. The stability provided by medical treatment gives the individual the ability to seek counselling and other healing supports.

What needs changing?

How we think about alcohol use disorder:

The compulsion to drink is not a moral failing. It is not shameful. It doesn’t have to be a life-long label, and a person doesn’t need to regain control by never drinking again.

How we treat alcohol use disorder:

Researchers have known since the mid-1990s that AUD is treatable with medication, but deep social stigma has meant that only 1% of sufferers receive proper medical treatment.

Alcohol Use Disorder is a root cause of many social issues

  • The Community Foundation has provided millions of dollars in grants to address the symptoms of many underlying problems.
  • Issues like food security, homelessness, job loss, spousal and child abuse, addictions, and crime have many complex causes, but we know that Alcohol Use Disorder is a factor in many situations.
  • Treating AUD as the chronic disease that it is allows us to go to the root of many social issues and possibly affect change at the systems level.

You can help change the lives of thousands of people by supporting the AUD Project today, which, through the Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society is creating meaningful change by:

  • Educating healthcare professionals to help integrate new treatment options into practice
  • Supporting patients and families to learn about and access care
  • Empowering the greater community to understand alcohol use disorder and its far-reaching impactc
  • Leveraging the national community foundation network to spread the word

Learn more:

The Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society has been created by a group of dedicated healthcare professionals with deep knowledge of the healthcare system.

View their information about AUD, and the benefits of using medication to treat the disease:

AUD Overview video created by the Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society:

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