By Dr. Mark Shaw


That’s what seems to be driving the three persons who have submitted to a surgical brain procedure called DBS to potentially solve their cravings for illicit drugs.

DBS stands for Deep Brain Stimulation: a nickel sized hole is cut into the top of the head and a millimeter wide wire is sent through the brain to stimulate the nucleus accumbens. Look at a picture of the brain and you’ll see the nucleus accumbens is located deep in the brain; thus, the name, deep brain stimulation (DBS) for this surgery.

In essence, it is an experiment, and those desperate for a solution are willingly being made test subjects. I want to know who authorized such an experimental and dangerous procedure for addicted persons? What medical ethics committee supervises such experimental treatment recommendations? Are they held accountable if (or when) these experiments do not work and cost a life?

This “treatment” to send signals to the brain through an electronic device to try and change decision making is consistent with the “brain disease model of addiction” (BDMA) – a secular approach to addiction. If you truly believe the hypothesized theory that BDMA is the problem, then you will seek a solution that claims to fix the brain.

It’s not you; it’s your brain… – is the lie perpetuated by the BDMA which is embraced by organizations like the NIDA and others. 

That’s why properly diagnosing a problem and its cause is so important. Calling addiction a brain disease is dangerous, to say the least, and that’s why The Addiction Connection exists: to offer the diagnosis consistent with biblical teachings and solutions that glorify God while providing real hope and practical help.

Does DBS Really Work?

From what I have researched, three men have undergone the surgical experiment of DBS for addiction. It is important to note that DBS has been used to attempt to help with Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders and depression.[2] [2a]

Using this implanted device for the addicted is very new. According to the article, one of the three men who had the DBS procedure relapsed soon after the surgery, while one man, Buckhalter, says it works:

“For Buckhalter, it’s worked. The guy who never made it past three months sober has now been drug-free for 2½ years. Deep brain stimulation is part of it, but he also takes a medication called suboxone, goes to counseling and holds down a steady job at a sober living home — support he says has been critical: ‘When it comes to staying sober, It’s just as important as the surgery.’”[3]

It is important to note that in the article from which this quote was taken, we find that Buckhalter still takes suboxone, a strong narcotic used to replace opioid cravings, and he is living in a sober living home with the support and structure that it offers. It is fair to NOT credit the surgery as the solution to his addiction problem since he takes a strong narcotic medication along with living in a structured living sober house. Surgery is one-third of the solution.

Many sober people without DBS take suboxone and live in sober living homes. It is possible that these interventions are as, if not more, helpful than DBS. Of course, the world’s system wants you to believe that this new stimulate the brain procedure (DBS) is the primary reason, but that takes faith in what they claim to be science. Clearly, I lack faith in them and their remedy for addiction.

I don’t believe in their theories for cause or for a cure.[4] I hope it helps these three men who seem like precious souls desperate for help. I would want them to know Jesus Christ so that they could rest assured that their souls will live forever since this life is temporary.

Making the Immaterial Material

I am saddened that people will believe just about anything but the Bible, at times. The biblical approach to addiction simply says that your heart’s desires are to blame. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life within one’s own heart (1 John 2:16) are what tempts people to choose sinful thoughts, words, and behaviors. No brain surgery can change anyone’s heart desires but the Holy Spirit can and does.

As I said in a recent WORLD magazine article, DBS is attempting to “medicalize the immaterial.”[5]

In other words, they are trying to make the immaterial parts of human existence (thoughts, reasoning, choices, emotions, desires) into something that is material, quantifiable, controlled, and/or managed through outward means to change behavior.

But mankind is not equal to a rat since we are made in the image of God and we have an everlasting soul. The immaterial part of all us will live forever and the Bible clearly teaches there are two eternal destinations for the resurrected body and soul: (1) hell or (2) the new heavens and new earth.

Experimental vs. Factual

I was grateful to read in one article that widespread use of DBS for addiction is years away and that the researchers admit that DBS use does not guarantee a cure.[6] That’s honest reporting as DBS is simply an experiment.

Let’s be clear here: even though their DBS surgery looks like a medical solution, it is truly a philosophical pursuit cloaked in medicine and medical care. Many things called medicine today are, in reality, philosophy. They are experimental at best. Philosophy is directing their efforts and it saddens me that a human life is not valued more.

My message to the addicted and their family members who are reading this blog: there is hope and it is a certain hope based upon facts.

It is true that Jesus Christ walked the earth, died on the Cross, and then rose from the dead. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father and will return again to establish His rule and reign on the new earth. That’s a historical fact based upon the witnesses who saw Christ as recorded in the truth of God’s Word and when you embrace it, desperation flees and is replaced by a certain hope. This is the good news of the Gospel message – that you are living temporarily in this life with the goal of populating the new heavens and new earth with more souls. God delights to use you to accomplish His purposes for His glory (Eph. 2:10).



[1] Accessed on 3/25/22

[2] Accessed 3/25/22

[2a] Accessed May 24, 2022 and

[3] Accessed on 3/25/22

[4] Accessed 3/25/22

[5] Accessed 3/25/22

[6] Accessed 3/25/22


Read our other blogs!

For more deep research on Deep Brain Stimulation, this 2018 publication is available.

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