Neuroethics 7 (2):205-214 (2014)

Adrian Carter
Monash University
Stephanie Bell
University of Glasgow
Wayne Hall
State University of New York (SUNY)
Impaired control over drug use is a defining characteristic of addiction in the major diagnostic systems. However there is significant debate about the extent of this impairment. This qualitative study examines the extent to which leading Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians believe that addicted individuals have control over their drug use and are responsible for their behaviour. One hour semi-structured interviews were conducted during 2009 and 2010 with 31 Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians (10 females and 21 males; 16 with clinical experience and 15 with no clinical experience). Although many addiction neuroscientists and clinicians described uncontrolled or compulsive drug use as characteristic of addiction, most were ambivalent about whether or not addicted people could be said to have no control of their drug use. Most believed that addicted individuals have fluctuating levels of impaired control over their drug use but they nonetheless believed that addicted persons were responsible for their behaviour, including criminal behaviour engaged in to fund their drug use. Addiction was not seen as exculpating criminal behaviour but as a mitigating factor
Keywords Addiction  Drug use  Control  Responsibility  Compulsion  Attitudes  Qualitative research
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12152-013-9196-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,205
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Cynthia's Dilemma: Consenting to Heroin Prescription.Louis C. Charland - 2002 - American Journal of Bioethics 2 (2):37-47.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Addicted to Food, Hungry for Drugs.Bennett Foddy - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (2):79-89.
Addiction, Compulsion, and Agency.Ezio Di Nucci - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (1):105-107.
Explaining Addiction: How Far Does the Reward Account of Motivation Take Us?Jeanette Kennett & Doug McConnell - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (5):470 - 489.
Understanding the Nature of Drug Addiction.Matthew Tieu - 2010 - Bioethics Research Notes 22 (1):7.
Addiction and Self-Determination: A Phenomenological Approach.Jann E. Schlimme - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (1):49-62.
Affective Neuroscience and Addiction.Louis C. Charland - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):20-21.


Added to PP index

Total views
75 ( #141,559 of 2,444,705 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,256 of 2,444,705 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes