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I was asked to review a book for Addiction, which is an academic journal covering developments in the world of addictions research.  You can read the full review at this link, but a word of warning, it’s written in an academic style, as it was for an academic publication. 

 Intoxication and Society book review

The book is called Intoxication and Society, and is a collection of essays by Jonathan Herring, Ciaran Regan, Darin Weinberg and Phil Withington.  One of the topics it covers is where intoxication sits within the law.  It’s a tricky one, and we haven’t got it quite right.  There’s the issue of capacity – is an intoxicated person incapacitated to the point that they are not responsible for their actions?  No, in the eyes of the law, because they knowingly made a decision to drink, with an understanding that there could be serious consequences.   There’s another tricky point though.  Addiction is treated by psychiatrists and considered a mental disorder – if you have a drug or alcohol problem you will be admitted to a specialist ward in a psychiatric unit.  However, unlike any other mental disorder, you can’t be sectioned against your will for addiction, or forced to have treatment, even if you are clearly a danger to both yourself and others.  Interesting legal conundrums, but also intriguing philosophical questions.

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