Brief Addiction Science Information Source
Purpose and Significance of The BASIS
The BASIS is produced by the Division on Addiction at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. The Division is one of the country’s premier centers for the study of addictive behavior. The Division is dedicated to promoting worldwide understanding of addiction and the minimizing the harmful effects of addictive behaviors. The BASIS is your portal to the most up-to-date scientific information about addiction. The BASIS provides readers with an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research about addiction. This research covers a variety of expressions of addiction; these include gambling, alcohol, tobacco and other behaviors and substances. The BASIS offers a variety of resources for researchers, treatment providers, public policy makers and other individuals concerned about the impact of addiction.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 72% of Americans use the Web to search for health and medical information and 35% have gone online specifically to determine a health condition. People appreciate quick and free access to health information; however, filtering the junk science that litters the Internet is a challenge, especially for those without a science background. The BASIS fills the need for credible information about addiction that is science-based. The involvement of Harvard Medical School faculty members and their dedication to publicizing evidence-based health information ensures the high quality of The BASIS materials.
Components of The BASIS
Science and Education
Each week, The BASIS publishes one of four online science reviews. Access to the following timely science reviews is free and open to the public.
- ASHES (Addiction Smoking Health Education Service) explores issues related to tobacco use and abuse.
- STASH (Science Threads on Addiction, Substance use, and Health) investigates substance use and abuse.
- The DRAM (Drinking Report for Addiction Medicine) reviews research related to alcohol use.
- The WAGER (Worldwide Addiction Gambling Educational Report) reviews gambling-‐related research.
The Division on Addiction invites readers to subscribe to The BASIS e-mail list that announces each new issue of The BASIS.
Journalists will find our science reviews a valuable resource. For example, a reporter looking for information about youth gambling can do a quick search of The Wager archives for research findings about this population. The DRAM, STASH, and ASHES also have rich archives. If you have questions or need assistance locating past reviews or other BASIS resources, please email us.
Our "Addiction Resources" page offers access to brief screening instruments and the Division on Addiction's suite of self-administered toolkits called "Your First Step to Change." People can use these tools to begin to change their relationship with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, shopping, and gambling.
The BASIS evolved from a successful Division on Addiction science publication, The Weekly Addiction Gambling Education Report (The WAGER; now the Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report). The WAGER began during 1996 as a weekly fax designed to bring addiction science to academics and the greater public. In 1999, The WAGER changed distribution methods to become an Internet-based publication. During 2005, the success of The WAGER inspired the Division on Addiction to build an online resource focused on the full range of expressions of addiction. Writers and editors from the Division on Addiction staff The BASIS. Leading voices in the fields of academia, mental health, and the law from across the globe comprise The BASIS Editorial Board.
The BASIS is made possible by funding from individual donors and Organizational Sponsors. We thank these donors and sponsors for supporting our efforts to stimulate and advance the public understanding of addiction and, consequently, reduce addiction-related harms. Individuals who wish to make a donation to The BASIS can visit our online donation page. Organizations wishing to donate to The BASIS should visit our Organizational Sponsorship page to learn more.