This large, 5-year multi-institution Europe-wide study (http://www.alicerap.eu/) aimed to strengthen scientific evidence to inform the public and political dialogue and to stimulate a broad and productive debate on current and alternative approaches to addictions. The study involved 67 research institutions from 25 European countries covering the humanities, social sciences and biological and medical sciences. Its scientific objectives were:
To describe the ownership of addictions through an historical study of addiction over the ages, an analysis of public and private stakeholder views and through image analyses, of professional and citizenship views.
To study how addictions are classified and defined, followed by estimates of their health, social and economic impact.
To investigate determinants of addiction through a coordinated and cohesive social, economic and biological analysis of initiation, transition into problem use and transition into and out of dependence.
To analyze the business of addiction through studies of revenues, profits and participants in legal and illegal trade, the impact of suppliers on addictive substance use and behaviours, and analyses of webs of influence on policy responses.
To study addictions governance by describing the views and forces that determine the ways societies steer themselves and by stock taking of present governance practices to old and emerging addictions.
To analyze youth as customers through considering the impacts of new technologies on promoting and mitigating use, by studying the interrelations of culture and biology, and by determining features that promote resilience and nudge young people to reduce problematic use.
ISMH contributed to Objectives 1 and 4, and led a workpackage to develop a new conceptual framework for explaining the role of commercial determinants in addiction behaviours (smoking, drinking and gambling).