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.