Responsibility for Addiction

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia - School of Law

February 10, 2011

Taking as its starting point the characterization of addiction as a "brain disease" by the nation’s leadership in public health and biomedical science, this paper explores the implications of recent developments in neuroscience for the concept of responsibility. The terrain is divided into three parts: responsibility for becoming addicted; responsibility for behavior symptomatic of addiction; and responsibility for amelioration of addiction. In general, the paper defends the thesis that recent scientific developments have sharpened but not erased traditional understandings in the first two areas, while recent legal developments have exposed new and intriguing theories of responsibility for managing.

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Date posted: February 13, 2011 ; Last revised: September 3, 2011

Suggested Citation

Bonnie, Richard J., Responsibility for Addiction (February 10, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1759547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1759547

Contact Information

Richard J. Bonnie (Contact Author)
University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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