Hooked: Legal and Ethical Implications of Recent Advances in Alcohol and Drug Addiction Research

This conference featured leading national and local experts in science, law and ethics who provided different perspectives on drug and alcohol addiction and how this problem is being and should be addressed by the courts in light of important new scientific developments. Topics included:


This was the third in a series of biennial conferences on subjects relating to the brain and the law, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University. It was intended for judges, attorneys, scientists, mental health and addiction specialists, scholars, educators and other interested people.


Program and Presentations


Hon. Roslyn Silver, U.S. Federal District Judge

Session I:  Science Background
  Neuroscience of Addiction
Carlton K. Erickson, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin
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Genetic and Environmental Contributors to Alcohol and Drug Dependence
Marc Schuckit, M.D., Dep't of Psychiatry, U. of California San Diego
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Session II:  Treatment of Addiction

  New Treatments for Addictive Disorders Based on Recent Research
Charles P. O'Brien, Ph.D., M.D.., Dep't of Psychiatry, U. of Pennsylvania
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  Toward a Research-Guided Model of Addiction Treatment     
Michael S. Shafer, Ph.D., School of Social Work, ASU
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Session III:  Addiction and the Law

Addiction, Science and Criminal Responsibility
Stephen J. Morse, J.D., Ph.D., U. of Pennsylvania Law School

Session III (cont'd)
  The Journey from Life in Society to Murder Defendant: Alcohol, Drugs and Neuroscience
Tony L. Strickland, M.S. Ph.D., David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  Substance Abuse:  Impact upon Emotion, Cognition and Behavior
Robert L. Smith, Ph.D., Dep't of Psychology, Case Western University
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  Addiction Science in the Courtroom: How Have Courts Responded?
Gary Marchant, Ph.D., J.D., Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, ASU
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Questions and Discussion

Session IV:  Ethics and Policy of Addiction
  Addiction as "Brain Disease" - Science or Slogan?
Sally Satel, M.D., American Enterprise Institute
  Predictive (Un)certainty: Challenges in Translational Research in Addiction Genomics
Barbara A. Koenig, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic
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  Questions/Discussion/Wrap Up

Speaker Bios

Carlton (Carl) K. Erickson, Ph.D. a research scientist, is a distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and Director of the Addiction Science Research and Education Center in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published over 260 peer-reviewed and professional articles, and is an Associate Editor of the scientific journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.  He is the author of a 2007 book titled The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment, which won a Hamilton Book Award in 2008.    He is a recipient of the Betty Ford Center Visionary Award (2000), the 2003 Pat Fields SECAD Award, the 2004 Fred French Award for Educational Achievement, and the Nelson J. Bradley Award for Lifetime Achievement (2007). A popular speaker and lecturer both nationally and internationally, Carl has spoken to approximately 80,000 professionals and people in recovery since 1978.


Barbara A. Koenig, Ph.D., an anthropologist who studies contemporary biomedicine, is Professor of Medicine at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and Faculty Associate at the Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota.  She serves as Co-Director of Mayo Clinic's Program in Professionalism and Bioethics.  Previously, she served as Executive Director of Stanford University's Center for Biomedical Ethics, where she helped establish the Stanford Program in Genomics, Ethics, and Society, an endeavor devoted to multidisciplinary research and policy analysis of the challenges engendered by molecular genetics.  At Stanford she conducted in-depth analyses of the social, ethical, and legal implications of DNA testing for breast cancer genes, as well as genetic testing for Alzheimer disease.  During the Clinton administration Koenig served on the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing, a group charged with making recommendations about federal oversight of testing in the U.S.   Koenig's NIH-funded research examines the ethical and policy implications of emerging knowledge in the genetics and neurobiology of addiction and a study of human subjects protections in DNA biorepositories linked to electronic medical records. She was awarded a grant from the Greenwall Foundation to investigate DNA "identifiability" as a central issue in personalized medicine. Koenig's Mayo Clinic research team is currently collaborating with the University of British Columbia in a study of deliberative community engagement as a means of engaging the public about establishing DNA biobanks.  Her most recent book is a collection of essays (co-edited with Sandra Lee and Sarah Richardson) titled, Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age, Rutgers University Press (2008).
Gary Marchant, Ph.D., J.D., is the Lincoln Professor Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  He is also a Professor of Life Sciences at ASU and Executive Director of the ASU Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology.  Professor Marchant has a  Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of British Columbia, a Masters of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government , and a law degree from Harvard.  Prior to joining the ASU faculty in 1999, he was a partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm where his practice focused on environmental and administrative law.  Professor Marchant teaches and researches in the subject areas of environmental law, risk assessment and risk management, genetics and the law, biotechnology law, food and drug law, legal aspects of nanotechnology,  and law, science and technology.
Stephen J. Morse, J.D., Ph.D., is the Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is an expert in criminal and mental health law, whose work emphasizes individual responsibility in criminal and civil law. Trained in both law and psychology at Harvard, Professor Morse has written for law reviews, journals of psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy, and edited collections, and he has contributed numerous op-ed articles. Most recently, he published "Foundations of Criminal Law" (Foundation Press, with Leo Katz and Michael S. Moore), and he is currently working on a book entitled "Desert and Disease: Responsibility and Social Control." Morse is currently Co-Director of the Network on Criminal Responsibility and Prediction of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project and Legal Coordinator of the Project. Professor Morse is a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology; a past president of Division 41 of the American Psychological Association (the American Psychology-Law Society); a recipient of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology's Distinguished Contribution Award; a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and Law (1988-1996); and a trustee of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. (1995-present).  Prior to joining the Penn faculty in 1988, Professor Morse was the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California.

Charles P. O'Brien, MD, PhD, received his MD and PhD degrees from Tulane University, and received residency training in psychiatry, neurology, and medicine at Harvard, the University of London, Tulane and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). He is board-certified in psychiatry, neurology and addiction psychiatry. One of the most prominent addiction researchers in the world, Dr. O'Brien has made many important discoveries and contributions over the past 30 years that have become the standard of care in addiction treatment throughout the world. Aside from developing medications to treat alcohol, opioid, and cocaine dependence, his work has also increased the understanding of the clinical aspects of addiction and the neurobiology of relapse.  Among his numerous honors, Dr. O'Brien was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1991, and received the Nathan B. Eddy award for research from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence in 2003. He has advised our national government on drug policy for decades, and was the President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease. Dr. O'Brien is the Vice-Chair of Psychiatry at Penn, and the Director of the prestigious Center for Studies in Addiction.

Sally Satel, Ph.D., is a resident scholar at AEI and the staff psychiatrist at the Oasis Clinic in Washington, D.C. Dr. Satel was an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University from 1988 to 1993. From 1993 to 1994 she was a Robert Wood Johnson policy fellow with the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. She has written widely in academic journals on topics in psychiatry and medicine, and has published articles on cultural aspects of medicine and science in numerous magazines and journals. Dr. Satel is author of Drug Treatment: The Case for Coercion (AEI Press, 1999) and PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine (Basic Books, 2001). She is coauthor of One Nation under Therapy (St. Martin's Press, 2005) and editor of When Altruism Isn't Enough- The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors (AEI Press, 2009).
Marc A. Schuckit, M.D., has focused his research on evaluating the importance of genetic influences in alcoholism, and then searching for the biological factors that correlate or interact with the environment to produce a vulnerability toward heavy drinking and alcohol problems.  Other research efforts include a search for the optimal diagnostic criteria for substance abuse or dependence, which lead to his contributions to the DSM-IV and DSM-V process.  His third focus has been on the relationship between alcoholism or drug use disorders and psychiatric syndromes, especially depression, states of anxiety, or psychoses.  From these efforts he has published almost 600 papers and has written over 10 books, including the recent sixth edition of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.  Dr. Schuckit is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and serves as the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program and of the Alcohol Research Center at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.  He is Editor of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and has been a member of the editorial boards of many major alcohol and drug journals in the United States and Europe.  In addition, he is Director of the Alcohol Medical Scholars Program with the goal of encouraging junior faculty in medical schools to improve their teaching skills and develop careers in substance use disorders.  He has been fortunate to be recognized for a number of awards in the alcoholism field including the Middleton Award for the best research within the VA system, the American Psychiatric Association's Hoffheimer Award for Research in Psychiatry (now the President's Prize), the Gold Medal Award for lifetime achievement from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the Distinguished Scientist Award, as well as the Seixas Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism and the Jellinek Award. 

Michael S. Shafer, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Social Work and the Director of Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy at Arizona State University.   Dr. Shafer's research interest focus on the adoption of evidence based approaches to the treatment of persons with behavioral health disabilities including substance use disorders and mental illness; systems integration in the treatment and management of behavioral health disorders, and the development of behavioral health care informatics.    Currently, Dr. Shafer is heading a research team at ASU to study the implementation of substance abuse treatment within criminal justice settings along with ongoing work on the delivery of substance abuse treatment to families involved in the child welfare system. 

Robert L. Smith, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and certified addiction specialist.  He is currently in private practice in Rocky River, Ohio, and for the past 25 years he has served as a Clinical Consultant with numerous mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.  He has conducted research related to co-occurring disorders, as well as the treatment of male and female offenders. He has assisted both state and federal organizations in program and policy development.  Dr. Smith is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University and also lectures at CWRU's Medical School and School of Law.  He has served as an expert witness in the areas of psychology and substance abuse in both civil and criminal cases for the past 16 years.  He has been qualified as a psychological and addictions expert in capital cases, testifying in both the guilt and penalty phases.

Tony L. Strickland, M.S., Ph.D., is the founder and Chairman of the Sports Concussion  Institute (SCI), and Director of the Memory Disorders and Concussion Management Clinics at SCI. He is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, and an Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology, Semel Neuroscience Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology (Behavioral Medicine) from the University of Georgia, and completed postdoctoral fellowship training in clinical neuropsychology at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Strickland also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship in psychopharmacology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, the American Psychological Association Division 50 (Addictions), and the American College of Professional Neuropsychology. Dr. Strickland is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology with extensive clinical and research experience in the areas of neurobehavioral sequela of traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, ethnobiologic variations in response to psychotropics, cross-cultural neuropsychology, and forensic neuropsychological evaluations. Dr. Strickland also directs the Concussion Management Demonstration Program of the California Interscholastic Federation. He has been the principal investigator of a large number of National Institute of Health supported research investigations, and has managed a large number of other projects primarily related to clinical neuroscience. He is the author of numerous research articles and has presented nationally and internationally on these issues.