Animal models of substance abuse and addiction: implications for science, animal welfare, and society

Comp Med. 2010 Jun;60(3):177-88.


Substance abuse and addiction are well recognized public health concerns, with 2 NIH institutes (the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) specifically targeting this societal problem. As such, this is an important area of research for which animal experiments play a critical role. This overview presents the importance of substance abuse and addiction in society; reviews the development and refinement of animal models that address crucial areas of biology, pathophysiology, clinical treatments, and drug screening for abuse liability; and discusses some of the unique veterinary, husbandry, and IACUC challenges associated with these models.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Welfare* / ethics
  • Animal Welfare* / standards
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory
  • Behavior, Addictive / economics
  • Behavior, Addictive / physiopathology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / therapy
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal*
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Societies*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / economics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy
  • United States