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

  • Research program: Social studies of addiction concepts
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: January 2013
  • Expected end date: December 2017
  • Completion date: December 2017
  • Funded by: ARC Future Fellowship
  • 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
  • Chief Investigator: Suzanne Fraser, La Trobe University

Professor Suzanne Fraser
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Dwyer, R. and Fraser, S. (2019). Celebrity enactments of addiction on Twitter. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 25, pp. 1044-1062. DOI: 10.1177/1354856517714168 [RJ1350] View web page

Fraser, S. and Ekendahl, M. (2018). ‘Getting better’: The politics of comparison in addiction treatment and research. Contemporary Drug Problems, 45, (2), pp. 87-106. DOI: 10.1177/0091450917748163 [RJ1388] View web page

Fraser, S., Valentine, K. and Ekendahl, M. (2018). Drugs, brains and other subalterns: Public debate and the new materialist politics of addiction. Body & Society, 24, (4), pp. 58-86. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X18781738 [RJ1428] View web page

Fraser, S., Valentine, K. and Seear, K. (2018). Emergent publics of alcohol and other drug policymaking. Critical Policy Studies, 18, (1), pp. 61-81. DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2016.1191365 [RJ1210] View web page

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] View web page

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] View web page

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] View web page

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] View web page

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] View web page

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] View web page

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] View web page