Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-Being

ISBN : 9780198714002

Robin Room; Peter Anderson; Jurgen T. Rehm
272 Pages
154 x 233 mm
Pub date
Feb 2015
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Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being outlines an innovative and fascinating new framework for understanding the harm that addictive substances and behaviours can cause. Taking a holistic approach and with well-being as a central tenet, it demonstrates how using different methods can lead to a more just and evidence-based approach to dealing with addictions. Presenting the latest and most comprehensive research, the expert team of authors examines the harm caused by addictive substances and behaviour, factors that contribute to addictions, and current European approaches to governing addictive substances and behaviours. It is both legal and illegal drugs, and behaviour that cause harm. For the world as a whole, cigarettes were the second largest cause of ill health and early death in 2010, alcohol the fifth, and illegal drugs the eighteenth. Regular and sustained heavy engagement in addictive substances and behaviour also impacts on quality of life and material living conditions. The well-being framework outlined here for understanding this impact places particular emphasis on the reciprocal relationship between well-being and drug use: well-being can be a driver of the heavy use of addictive substances and behaviours, and also compounds the harm done. Furthermore, the response of society can increase the harm caused by drug use, and stigma, social exclusion, and the actions of the criminal justice system can impair individual and societal well-being considerably. Impact of Addictive Substances and Behaviours on Individual and Societal Well-being is based on the research from ALICE RAP, a multidisciplinary European study of addictive substances and behaviours in contemporary society. A timely addition to the field, this book is essential reading for those wanting to make a real impact in the field of addiction prevention policy, including public managers, practitioners, public health professionals, and stakeholders influencing policy for addictive substances and behaviours, as well as academics.


1. Introduction to Addictive behaviours
2. Passive vulnerability or active agency? An evolutionarily ecological perspective of human drug use.
3. What are addictive substances and behaviours and how far do they extend?
4. Wellbeing as a frame for understanding addictive substances
5. The effects of addictive substances and addictive behaviours on physical and mental health
6. Drug and Alcohol Policy for European Youth: Current evidence and recommendations for integrated policies and research strategies
7. Addictive Substances And Behaviours And Social Justice
8. Impact of the economic recession on addiction-prone behaviours
9. Social Costs of Addiction in the Europe
10. Addictive substances and behaviours and socioeconomic development
11. Addictive substances and behaviours and corruption, transparency and governance
12. Conclusion

About the author: 

An international expert in the impact of alcohol and addictions on health and well-being, and in the impact of policies and programmes to reduce the harm done by alcohol, tobacco and addictions, Dr Anderson is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Health and Well-being. From 1992 to 2000, he worked as the regional advisor for both tobacco and alcohol with the European Office of the World Health Organization and directed the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. He is an adviser in public health, alcohol, tobacco and addictions to the European Commission and the African, European, Western Pacific and Headquarters offices of the World Health Organization. He is the international coordinator of the ALICE RAP project, Addictions and Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe - Reframing Addiction's Project, www.alicerap.eu .; Jurgen Rehm, PhD, is a trained epidemiologist and public health researcher and is currently holding the positions as Director, Social and Epidemiological Research (SER) Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada; Professor and Chair, Addiction Policy, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (UofT), Canada; Senior scientist and Head, Population health research group, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He works as consulting expert for several governments in Europe, North America and Thailand as well as for EU, WHO and World Bank and held memberships in various professional organizations. In 2003 he was awarded with the Jellinek Memorial Fund Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge on alcohol/alcoholism (Epidemiology and population studies). ; Robin Room is a sociologist who has directed alcohol and drug research centres in the United States, Canada and Sweden, and now in Australia, his native country. He has received awards for scientific contributions in the U.S., Sweden and Australia, including the premier international award in alcohol studies, the Jellinek Memorial Award for Alcohol Studies. He has been an advisor for the World Health Organisation since 1975, and is Editor-in Chief of Drug and Alcohol Review. Professor Room's research is on social, cultural and epidemiological studies of alcohol, drugs and gambling behaviour and problems, and studies of social responses to alcohol and drug problems and of the effects of policy changes.

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