David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
AJOB Neuroscience 3 (2):40-49 (2012)
I argue that addiction is not a chronic, relapsing, neurobiological disease characterized by compulsive use of drugs or alcohol. Large-scale national survey data demonstrate that rates of substance dependence peak in adolescence and early adulthood and then decline steeply; addicts tend to “mature out” in their late twenties or early thirties. The exceptions are addicts who suffer from additional psychiatric disorders. I hypothesize that this difference in patterns of use and relapse between the general and psychiatric populations can be explained by the purpose served by drugs and alcohol for patients. Drugs and alcohol alleviate the severe psychological distress typically experienced by patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders and associated problems. On this hypothesis, consumption is a chosen means to ends that are rational to desire: Use is not compulsive. The upshot of this explanation is that the orthodox view of addiction as a chronic, relapsing neurobiological disease is misguided. I delineate five folk psychological factors that together explain addiction as purposive action: strong and habitual desire; willpower; motivation; functional role; and decision and resolve. I conclude by drawing lessons for research and effective treatment.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Hanna Pickard (2013). Psychopathology and the Ability to Do Otherwise. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):n/a-n/a.
Similar books and articles
Hanna Pickard (2012). The Purpose in Chronic Addiction. AJOB Neuroscience 3 (2):40-49.
Hanna Pickard & Steve Pearce, Addiction in Context: Philosophical Lessons From a Personality Disorder Clinic.
Helen Keane (2004). Disorders of Desire: Addiction and Problems of Intimacy. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities 25 (3):189-204.
Stephanie Bell, Adrian Carter, Rebecca Mathews, Coral Gartner, Jayne Lucke & Wayne Hall (2014). Views of Addiction Neuroscientists and Clinicians on the Clinical Impact of a 'Brain Disease Model of Addiction'. Neuroethics 7 (1):19-27.
Bennett Foddy (2011). Addicted to Food, Hungry for Drugs. Neuroethics 4 (2):79-89.
Harold Kincaid & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan (2010). Medical Models of Addiction. In Kincaid Ross (ed.), What is Addiction?
Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2006). Addiction and Autonomy: Can Addicted People Consent to the Prescription of Their Drug of Addiction? Bioethics 20 (1):1–15.
Edmund Henden (2013). Heroin Addiction and Voluntary Choice: The Case of Informed Consent. Bioethics 27 (7):395-401.
Joanna G. Katzman & Cynthia M. A. Geppert (2008). Ethical Dilemmas in Treating Chronic Pain in the Context of Addiction. In Cynthia M. A. Geppert & Laura Weiss Roberts (eds.), The Book of Ethics: Expert Guidance for Professionals Who Treat Addiction. Hazelden.
Wayne Hall (2003). Addiction, Neuroscience and Ethics. Addiction 98 (7):867-870.
Peter J. Cohen (2002). Untreated Addiction Imposes an Ethical Bar to Recruiting Addicts for Non-Therapeutic Studies of Addictive Drugs. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 30 (1):73-81.
Eric Matthews (2010). Explaining Addiction. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):23-26.
Added to index2012-05-03
Total downloads16 ( #86,005 of 1,089,057 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #42,757 of 1,089,057 )
How can I increase my downloads?