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Addiction and Responsibility$
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Jeffrey Poland and George Graham

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015509

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015509.001.0001

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Addiction, Responsibility, and Ego Depletion

Addiction, Responsibility, and Ego Depletion

(p.89) 4 Addiction, Responsibility, and Ego Depletion
Addiction and Responsibility

Neil Levy

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the extent of an addict’s responsibility in drug-related behavior. It is argued that addicts cannot be held responsible for the range of activities in which they must engage in order to procure, prepare, and consume drugs, at least with regard to much of the behavior. Consequently, the view that addictive behavior is not responsible behavior is also defended here. Currently, there exists two influential ways of understanding responsibility for addictive behavior. According to the moral model, addictive behavior is under the control of the agent; the behavior is considered normal, but the goal of the behavior is abnormal. The second model is the medical or scientific model, which posits that addictive behavior is grossly abnormal and, therefore, not responsible behavior. The account of addiction offered in the chapter differs from that offered by most proponents of this view.

Keywords:   responsibility, drug-related behavior, addictive behavior, responsible behavior, moral model, scientific model

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