Drugs and freedom

Toby Seddon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 'right' to use drugs is often seen as a question of freedom and debates about 'drugs and freedom' frequently take place on the terrain of moral and political philosophy. In this article, it is argued that there is a different, and more critically significant, link between drugs and freedom that can be made. It is suggested that the two exist in a constitutive relation, so that drugs and the drug question cannot be fully understood or grasped outside the integral ties that connect them with freedom. The argument is illustrated by two examples-the emergence of the disease model of addiction at the turn of the 20th century and the present-day 'Tough Choices' project a century later. Some theoretical and research implications of this argument are considered in conclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages9
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Addiction
  • Drugs
  • Freedom


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