Are there circumstances in which drug use is involuntary?
Addiction? by Robert M Goodman The Great Issues of Drug Policy 1990 [Link]
Let's explore reasons for the self-delusion, or misimpression, of the addict who says, sincerely though not truthfully, "I habitually do something I don't want to do." This calls for a thought experiment. Imagine a triangle. Make it a purple triangle. Now see that purple triangle whistling "Dixie". Do you see it? Hear it? Is it vivid?
Now erase the triangle, and imagine yourself hungry, or at least with appetite. (This won't work if you already feel like eating when you do this.) Is the feeling vivid? If you're like me and most people I've asked, the conjured impression of the purple triangle whistling, though an unfamiliar experience, is much more vivid than the imagination of appetite, a familiar percept.
The lesson is that for most people some percepts, including appetites, are much harder to imagine than others. The phenomenon is manifest every time I try grocery shopping on a full stomach. In evaluating what foods to buy, and how much, I rely on my memory or imagination of how good it would be to eat. But my imagination can't easily penetrate the sensation of fullness in my stomach, though it can easily penetrate a world of lights and sounds to produce the purple triangle whistling "Dixie".
I'm fat. I like eating. But after a big meal I sometimes wonder, why did I eat (all) that? The problem is that I actually can't remember the appetite or its satisfaction, the good feeling that came with eating. I can't imagine the feeling. Were I not familiar with this defect of imagination, I could easily persuade myself that I habitually do something (eating, or eating more than a certain amount) that I don't want (at that time) to do. (Similarly I might think I could get much more out of life if I just slept less. I can't imagine sleepiness; all I can do is remember that sleepiness does come regularly, and needs to be dealt with by sleeping.)
Alcoholism: A disease of speculation [Link]
Wayburn, Thomas L., "The Case for Drug Legalization and Decontrol in the United States" [Link]
Wayburn, Thomas L., "Fallacies and Unstated Assumptions in Prevention and Treatment," Accepted for publication in The Great Issues of Drug Policy, Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Eds., The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1990) [Link]
The Myth of Drug-Induced Addiction by Bruce K. Alexander
Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University [Link]
Schaler, J.A. (2004). You, robot. Liberty, October, Volume 18, No. 10, p19-21.[Link]
Themes in Chemical Prohibition by William L. White
Drugs in Perspective, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1979 [Link]
Drug Addiction as Demonic Possession by Dale Atrens
Reader in Psychobiology University of Sydney
[published in: Overland vol 158, Autumn 2000, pp.19-24] [Link]
The production of stigma by the disease model of addiction: why drug user activists must oppose it by Eliot Albers Presented at the 20th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, Liverpool, April 2010 [Link]
Several studies find that teaching people that addiction is a brain disease increases rather than reduces stigma. Why should the “scientific” or “medical” model trigger such a seemingly irrational response? Basically, it's because people see those who are “brain diseased” as permanently damaged and scarily out of control. As a result, they want to lock them up (whether or not they get treatment) even if the problem “isn’t their fault.”
The fewer “aspects of mind” you attribute to someone—like being able to freely make choices, feel pain and pleasure, and form intentions and plans—the more you dehumanize at person, research finds. And the more you dehumanize a certain group of people, the more you support measures like incarceration or treatment that is coercive and infantilizing. After all, the treatment is intended to fix those whose behavior is child- or animal-like in being uncontrollable.