Addiction: Could it be a big lie?

Coming soon to 20/20.

A devotee of behavioral economics rips into addiction-as-a-disease. He will argue that when the costs become great enough, addicts quit. The basis for their skepticism is a disbelief in loss of control. More on that line of thought here and here.

The article does a good job stating the stakes of giving this fringe too much attention:

If hardly a controversial topic to those other than the small group of dissidents who want it to be, the semantic disease-or-not debate has important practical implications. How addiction is viewed affects how addicts are treated, by the public and by medical professionals, and how government allocates resources to deal with the problem.

UPDATE: The 20/20 reference is not referring to an actual upcoming show, just the fact that John Stossel’s libertarian philosophy and disease model skepticism are sure to attract him to this book.

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