Why the pervasive addiction myth is still believed

Richard Hammersley, Marie Reid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper characterises the myth of addiction and considers social mechanisms that may sustain this discourse about substance use problems in the face of counter-evidence. The myth is that substance use is typified by addiction, which is a dramatic, dangerous and chronic condition primarily caused by the biological effects of drugs. This myth is resilient and has been applied to different substances. Among the simple social mechanisms that may sustain the myth are that it provides a clear answer to drug problems and that it is socially-functional for a wide range of social groups (Davies, 1992. The Myth of Addiction. Reading, Harwood.).

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAddiction Research and Theory
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2002


    • substance use
    • addiction


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