Chapter 09 Giving the neurobiology of addiction no more than its due


In 2015, we published an article in the Lancet Psychiatry critiquing the prevailing view in the USA that addiction was a chronic and relapsing brain disease.

The brain disease model of addiction had been widely promoted by the US National Institute of Drug Addiction, resulting in significant changes in policy and professional position statements, including by then US President, Barack Obama and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The leaders of National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism responded to our critique in the same journal. This exchange is republished in this edited volume.

In this introductory chapter, we summarize a decade and a half of research that led to our critique of the neuroscience of addiction, the failure of NIDA to produce any significant new treatments of addiction, and the subsequent exchange with leaders at NIDA.


Wayne Hall - ORCiD:

Adrian Carter - ORCiD:

Cynthia Forlini - ORCiD:


Evaluating the Brain Disease Model of Addiction is available from: