Analysing and comparing concepts of addiction for improved social and health outcomes in Australia

  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: January 2013
  • Expected end date: December 2017
  • Completion date: December 2017
  • Funded by: ARC Future Fellowship FT120100215
  • Lead organisation:

Australian federal and state governments spend billions of dollars per year responding to alcohol and other drug consumption. In doing so, they operationalise a wide range of prevention, education and treatment measures, all of which are the subject of intense public scrutiny and controversy. Prevention education initiatives, for example, attract criticism for reproducing social stigma. Government rhetoric on alcohol and other drug use is criticised for being at odds with program funding. Drug consumers are urged to seek treatment yet some experts have pointed out that its effectiveness is modest. As these debates suggest, alcohol and other drug policy and practice is a complex arena shaped in no small part by social and political forces, as well as longstanding unexamined assumptions about the origins, nature and meaning of drug use and addiction.

Using an international research method involving qualitative interviewing, policy analysis and other methods across three sites: Australia, Canada and Sweden, this research will analyse a key concept underlying much of the political struggle over AOD policy and service provision: addiction. This analysis will better inform policy, and help develop clearer concepts and more productive approaches for improving alcohol and other drug-related health and social outcomes in Australia.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location

Professor Suzanne Fraser
Tel: +61 3 9079 2201
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Fraser, S. and Ekendahl, M. (2018). ‘Getting better’: The politics of comparison in addiction treatment and research. Early online. Contemporary Drug Problems. [RJ1388]

Dwyer, R. and Fraser, S. (2017). Celebrity enactments of addiction on Twitter. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. DOI: 10.1177/1354856517714168 [RJ1350] Link

Fraser, S. (2017). The future of ‘addiction’: Critique and composition. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, pp. 130-134. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.034 [RJ1330] Link

Matthews, S., Dwyer, R. and Snoek, A. (2017). Stigma and self-stigma in addiction. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 14, (2), pp. 275-286. DOI: 10.1007/s11673-017-9784-y [RJ1096] Link

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2017). Euthanasia for what? Attending to the role of stigma in addiction-related 'intractable suffering' and 'incurability' (Commentary). Addiction. DOI: 10.1111/add.14105 [RJ1383] Link

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2017). When it comes to redress for child sexual abuse, all victims should be equal. Published 1/11/17. The Conversation. [UJ214]

Dwyer, R. and Fraser, S. (2016). Addicting via hashtags: How is Twitter making addiction? Contemporary Drug Problems, 43, (1), pp. 79-97. DOI: 10.1177/0091450916637468 [RJ1177] Link

Fraser, S. (2016). Articulating addiction in alcohol and other drug policy: A multiverse of habits. International Journal of Drug Policy, 31, pp. 6-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.10.014 [RJ1150] Link

Fraser, S., Valentine, K. and Seear, K. (2016). Emergent publics of alcohol and other drug policymaking. Critical Policy Studies. DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2016.1191365 [RJ1210] Link

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2016). Addiction veridiction: Gendering agency in legal mobilisations of addiction discourse. Griffith Law Review, 25, (1), pp. 13-29. DOI: 10.1080/10383441.2016.1164654 [RJ1198] Link

Fraser, S. (2015). A thousand contradictory ways: Addiction, neuroscience and expert autobiography. Contemporary Drug Problems, 42, (1), pp. 38-59. DOI: 10.1177/0091450915570308 [RJ1048] Link