Defining Addiction

Summers, Jesse S. “What is Wrong with Addiction.” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, vol. 22, no. 1, 2015, pp. 25-40.

This article found on Project MUSE discusses the struggle to distinguish what quantifies as an addiction. Summers looks into the DSM modifying its description of things that can be addicted in its latest edition, combining drug and substance dependence and gambling disorders, but not including coffee, junk food, or gaming addictions even though many experts consder these dependencies to be equally harmful. The DSM repeatedly describes addiction as dependency that is maladaptive, causing only negative changes. Summers argues that these other substance can also create maladaptive dependency and should be considered addicting.

This was a compelling argument for the broadening of definitions of addiction. Summers critiqued a widely respected text on mental behaviors in an excellent way by using the text’s own words to support his ideas about how it should be changed. Jesse Summers seems to be a trustworthy educated individual on the topic, teaching philosophy at Duke University, especially focusing on addiction.


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