Their award winning paper, ‘Defining substance use disorders: Do we really need more than heavy use?’, published in the journal ‘Alcohol and Alcoholism‘ last year, argues that re-defining substance use disorders as “heavy use over time” could revolutionize the work of scientists and clinicians and bring important benefits for society and those suffering from “addictions”.

Reducing the stigma

 “Heavy use over time” can be a more practical and scientifically valid way to define what we know of as ‘substance use disorders’ or ‘addiction’ than the current DSM-5 and ICD definitions. This new definition could also reduce the stigma and discrimination currently associated with substance use problems.

About the award and ALICE RAP

The EMCDDA Scientific Paper award was inaugurated in 2011 by the EMCDDA Scientific Committee. It celebrates scientific writing and distinguishes high-quality research in the field of illicit drugs.

The ALICE RAP project (Addiction and Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe – Reframing Addictions Project) brings together a network of over 150 researchers who study many different aspects of addiction from a wide range of different disciplines.