Miscellaneous

Is Addiction a Cultural Category or a Biological Reality?

By

Karen Eastland

Includes Apendix A: Dalai Lama Quote: Head of the Dge-lugs-pa order of Tibetan Buddhists, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, b.1935. http://thinkexist.com/quotation/i_believe_that_the_very_purpose_of_life_is_to_be/145371.htm

This paper discusses whether addiction is a ‘Cultural Category,’ or a ‘Biological Reality.’ It presumes the word ‘addiction’ signifies an addiction to ‘drugs or Alcohol,’ whether licit or illicit and, when making use of the word, ‘disease,’ it refers to the context of the conceptualisation formalised, but not validated on the question of drug addiction, or drug disease. It examines several differing theories on the subject by some noted theorists such as; N. E. Zinberg and his theory on Drug Use,[1] J. Richard Eiser and his, ‘Dynamic System,’[2] and Stanton Peele and R.J. Degrandpre’s focus upon ‘Environment.’[3] This paper will begin with the utilisation of an Anthropological view of ‘Ethnography,’ [4] to assist in the discussion.

Is Addiction a Cultural Category or a Biological Reality?