There’s a new bar in town…and it’s located inside St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s West 5th Campus.
Researchers have transformed a lab into a miniature bar to mimic the environmental triggers that can cause alcohol cravings and affect addiction. It simulates a pub experience with a wooden bar top, dim lighting and several bottles each of beer, wine and spirits.
Researchers will use the space to study how cravings are affected by the sight, smell and feel of a glass of alcohol. Participants will be filmed in the environment and will answer questions about their desire to drink.
About 10% of Canadians are dependent on alcohol at some point in their lives. The bar lab hopes to more realistic insight into their behaviour while maintaining the controlled environment needed for scientific research.
The bar lab is part of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. At the end of each session with a participant, the bottles of alcohol will be locked away. The first study in the bar is expected to begin in early 2016.