Addictive disease is widespread in Canada and the emotional and financial costs are enormous. Addiction causes a huge burden on society, leaving in its wake broken lives, broken families, and a disrupted society laced with profiteering and illegal activities. However, the societal problems that result from a lack of treatment services outweigh the economic costs of making affordable addiction treatment services available.
If all individuals with addictions in BC were able to access appropriate treatment services when they choose to seek help, the benefits would extend beyond the individual to improve the collective health of our communities.
There is a body of medical knowledge on addictions in this province, and I concur with Dr Oetter in her editorial “Addiction medicine is a specialty—let’s recognize it” [BCMJ 2005;47(10):526] that addiction medicine physicians need to be supported and recognized. These physicians should be compensated fairly when they provide readily accessible treatment services to all citizens as needed.
Conservative cost estimates in No Further Harm (1997), a document published by the BCMA Advisory Committee on Narcotics Harm Reduction, revealed that every dollar invested in addiction treatment would result in a fifteenfold return. This document espoused that addiction treatment constitutes a continuum of services that include primary prevention, harm reduction, and clinical intervention.
The BCMA Council on Health Promotion is interested in striking a new committee to review the area of addictive disease and, if appropriate, recommend system and policy changes for BC. BCMA members and others with knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating addictive disease who are interested in contributing to this committee may contact Ms Linda Munro at the BCMA.
Bill Mackie, MD
Chair, Council on Health Promotion
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org