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Helen Keane

In: The SAGE Handbook of Drug and Alcohol Studies

Chapter 21: Addiction: Critical Reflections on a Debated Concept

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Addiction: Critical Reflections on a Debated Concept
Addiction: critical reflections on a debated concept
Helen Keane
Introduction

Why do some people continue to drink heavily when alcohol is causing major problems in their lives? Why do smokers struggle to quit despite a strong desire to do so, and why do they so often relapse? Why are illicit drug users prepared to risk imprisonment in order to access their drugs? Addiction is a core concept in the drug and alcohol field because of its ability to provide an explanatory response to such questions. It provides a reason for seemingly irrational behaviour by positing the existence of some kind of force or drive that overpowers the individual will, compelling people to act in ways counter to their own interests ...

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