Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Addiction

  • Benjamin Capps
  • Adrian Carter
  • Yvette van der Eijk
Reference work entry


Addiction or dependence to a psychoactive substance – or drug – is a biopsychosocial disorder. Many aspects of addiction can be clinically treated, yet this raises some important ethical issues. The health and social problems resulting from addiction are generally influenced by sociopolitical agendas and prevailing views about addiction, and therefore, we make some brief observations about how these affect the act, manner, or method of treating someone who is addicted.

In this chapter, we focus on some recent developments in the treatment of addiction: pharmacological approaches, and invasive brain therapies. In addition to giving an ethical overview of these, we look more generally at the justification for coerced treatment.


Deep Brain Stimulation Relapse Prevention Addiction Treatment Opioid Dependence Drug Court 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Capps
    • 1
  • Adrian Carter
    • 2
  • Yvette van der Eijk
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Biomedical EthicsNational University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.The University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical ResearchRoyal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalHerstonAustralia

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