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Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being$
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Peter Anderson, Jürgen Rehm, and Robin Room

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714002.001.0001

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Addictive substances and behaviours and social justice

Addictive substances and behaviours and social justice

(p.143) Chapter 7 Addictive substances and behaviours and social justice
Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being

Jacek Moskalewicz

Justyna Klingemann

Oxford University Press

Throughout history social stigma suffered by individual addicts has often been extended to cover large segments of society, first the lower classes and ethnic minorities in order to discredit their claims for more social justice and to legitimize the superior position of dominant classes. Social stigma reinforced by the criminal justice system justifies harsh control measures imposed on individuals and social classes which apparently do not deserve social justice due to their moral inferiority manifested by their apparently excessive use of psychoactive substances. The disease concept of addiction failed to remove individual stigma, as in public perception moral condemnation of addictions is reinforced by medical stigma of chronic disease with poor prospects for recovery. Addiction treatment, including its patients and providers, has very low social status followed by low investment which results in poor treatment outcomes, further stigmatization and progressive marginalization. Interference by the criminal justice system reinforces this process.

Keywords:   addiction treatment, social justice, social stigma, social class, criminal justice system

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