About The BASIS

The Brief Addiction Science Information Source (BASIS) minimizes addiction’s harmful effects by providing the general public, treatment providers, policy makers, and others with access to addiction research.

Each week, The BASIS increases awareness by providing a summary of a current, peer-reviewed addiction science article. We supplement these science summaries with editorials written by people in recovery, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and others. By discussing addiction and related mental health conditions openly and encouraging compassion, tolerance, acceptance, and hope, The BASIS works to reduce the stigma often associated with addiction and support health equity. The BASIS encourages recovery and, ultimately, improves lives.


The precursor to The BASIS was The Weekly Addiction Gambling Education Report (The WAGER), which first appeared on January 2, 1996. Dr. Howard Shaffer and Tom Cummings created The WAGER in collaboration with the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling (now the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health). Anticipating the 10th year of The WAGER, during 2005, the Division on Addiction began to expand the types of free science reviews available to the general public and organize other important addiction services within a single web portal. This initiative created The BASIS. To recognize the international issues and readership, The WAGER was renamed the Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report.

Components of The BASIS

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 misuse.
  • STASH (Science Threads on Addiction, Substance use, and Health) investigates substance use and misuse.
  • The DRAM (Drinking Report for Addiction Medicine) reviews research related to alcohol use.
  • The WAGER (Worldwide Addiction Gambling Educational Report) reviews gambling-­‐related research.

We also publish occasional articles focusing on Addiction and the Humanities, as well as Op-ed/Editorials and Special Series.

Suggested Use

We encourage public, nonprofit, and educational organizations to link to our website or use our materials for training and discussion. We encourage the reproduction and free dissemination of our materials; however, individuals and organizations should not change materials in any way and should give proper credit.

The BASIS Staff

The Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, is one of the country’s premier centers for the study of addictive behavior.

Research, Writing, Resources, Administration and Development
  • Heather M. Gray, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Series Editor, STASH
  • Timothy Edson, Ph.D., Series Editor, ASHES
  • Eric Louderback, Ph.D., Series Editor, The WAGER
  • Matthew Tom, Ph.D., Series Editor, The DRAM
  • Kira Landauer, M.P.H., Writer and Content Manager
  • Caitlyn Matykiewicz, M.P.H., Writer and Content Manager
  • Nakita Sconsoni, M.S.W., Writer and Content Manager
  • Seth McCullock, Ph.D., Writer
  • Annette Siu, Writer
  • John Slabczynski, Writer
  • Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S., Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus
The BASIS Editorial Board
  • Brett Abarbanel, Ph.D., Executive Director, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, International Gaming Institute; Associate Professor, UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hospitality; Research Affiliate, School of Psychology, University of Sydney
  • Elda M. L. Chan, Ph.D., Director, St. John’s Cathedral Counselling Service (Hong Kong)
  • Sally Gainsbury, Ph.D., Director, Gambling Treatment & Research Clinic, University of Sydney Professor, School of Psychology, University of Sydney; Founder and Leader, Technology Addiction Team, Brain & Mind Centre
  • Deborah Haskins, Ph.D., Founder and Owner, Mosaic Consulting and Counseling Services; Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University Psychological & Brain Sciences; Associate Professor in Counseling (retired) from Trinity Washington University (DC)
  • Debi A. LaPlante, Ph.D., Director, Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Ryan Martin, Ph.D., Professor, Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University
  • Sarah E. Nelson, Ph.D., Director of Research, Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance; Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Kahlil Philander, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University; Honorary Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Sydney
  • Marc Potenza, Ph.D., M.D., Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry and Professor, Child Study Center and of Neuroscience, Yale University; Director, Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, Yale University; Director, Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders; Director, Women and Addictive Disorders, Women’s Health Research at Yale
  • William G. Shadel, Ph.D., Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation
  • Martina Whelshula, Ph.D., Independent Consultant and Citizen, Arrow Lakes Nation of the Colville Indian Reservation; Owner and Partner, Swan Innovations LLC