Drug use is a major challenge for public services, healthcare professionals and policy-makers all over the world. This book offers a complete overview of the issues associated with substance misuse from an interdisciplinary perspective. It begins by providing a reference guide to the different psychoactive substances, looking at the biological and psychological impact of their use. Key issues in the effect drugs have on society are then addressed, before outlining methods of recovery and therapy. Chapters include: • Reflective questions to challenge readers’ assumptions • Case studies to help students understand the impact of substances on individuals • Links to further resources to expand readers’ knowledge It will be valuable reading for those studying on degrees in criminology, health, nursing, social work and counselling.
Chapter 1: Ethical Evaluations of Drug Use Anddrug Policy
Ethical Evaluations of Drug Use Anddrug Policy
How we decide on the legitimacy of individual or collective actions and the limits of those actions falls within the realm of normative ethics. Normative ethics is concerned with an understanding of how we should act under certain circumstances and there are three main paradigms as follows:
- Deontology – duty and principle (associated with Immanuel Kant, 1724–1804)
- Utilitarianism – considering the consequences (associated with Jeremy Bentham, 1748–1832 and John Stuart Mill, 1806–1873)
- Virtue ethics – the importance of character (associated with Aristotle, 384–322 BC)
For each of the evaluations I have adapted the work of Banks (2004) which provides an excellent introduction to the subject matter and useful frameworks to analyse ethical dilemmas.
Immanuel Kant ...