In 2014, Nature published an editorial primarily focused on animal-rights activists’ arguments against using animal studies in addiction studies. The editorial promoted the brain disease model of action (BDMA) and commented that it was not particularly controversial “at least among scientists.” The brain disease model of addiction forms the theoretical basis for using Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to address addiction.
However, that comment sparked strong response from a range of scientists in the form of a a letter-to-the-editor from Derek Heim of Edge Hill University on behalf of himself and 94 co-signatories consisting of doctors, researchers and other experts from India, Italy, France, Sweden, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark and the US.
The full list of signatories is available as supplementary information to the letter-to-the-editor at Addition: not just brain malfunction.
The message was clear: the BDMA is not settled science. It is a theory with significant opposition from a wide range of researchers and experts.