Addictions

Book Review: The Globalisation of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit

Author(s): 
Bruce K. Alexander
Reviewer: 
Ed Day, Senior Lecturer in Addiction Psychiatry

Several years ago I was asked to participate in a Royal College of Psychiatrists’ debate for young people. I was proposing the motion that ‘we are all a nation of addicts’, and a show of hands before the debate started revealed a strong majority in my favour. Unfortunately, an articulate description of the ICD–10 definitions of dependence by the opposition allowed the audience to re-evaluate their excesses as falling below the ‘addictive’ threshold defined by scientific medicine, and the motion was soundly defeated.

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