Drug induced
Addiction and treatment in perspective
By Phil Harris

Addiction has become enshrined in the professional and public mind as an intractable biological disorder that can be adequately addressed by limiting current practice to medical models and criminal justice interventions. In this collection of widely acclaimed articles and lectures, Phil Harris re-examines the origin, validity and limits of current practice, and exposes the detrimental impact of the narrow set of concerns we bring to addiction and its treatment. In doing so he challenges the preoccupations of national policy and international research, demonstrating how addiction is the product of deeper human concerns of identity, meaning and exclusion.

Drug Induced will be indispensable not only to students and new workers, but also to experienced practitioners - drug workers, youth workers, youth justice workers, probation and prison services, social workers, and therapists. The specially reworked articles offer innovative perspectives for understanding addiction and how we should respond to it at individual and organisational levels. It reaches out beyond clinical approaches in an open and accessible style, and will resonate with the experience of practitioners as well as those personally affected by addiction - users and ex-users, and their concerned families and friends.

Paperback. 160 pages. 978-1-903855-53-9. 2005. £15.95.


Drug workers, youth workers, youth justice workers, probation and prison services, social workers, therapists, trainers, social science academics and students.


Introduction: Biology or belief?
A very brief history of addiction treatment
Of mice and men
The myth of overdose
Engineering genetics
The binds that tie
Natural born quitters
The apprenticeship for life
Well intended change
Counselling and other sacred cows
Igniting change (slight return)
The bi-cycle of change
Keep taking the tablets
Watching the watchmen
Better than well
Hoops spring eternal


"A very worthwhile read." Community Care.

"I found his critical approach rather refreshing." Community Practitioner.

"There is much to commend in this book" Young People Now.

"A thoughtful and hugely authoritative text." Care & Health

"This thought-provoking book challenges many aspects of the theoretical base and clinical practices prevalent in the addictions field today… 14 manageable chapters cover topics ranging from a well-argued piece on the limitations of animal research in supporting a biological basis for addiction, to a worrying article about the safety record and licensing of SSRIs… In a challenge to the validity of 'knowledge' bases in the field, the author examines the failure of drug prevention and education campaigns. The disease concept, motivational interviewing, stages of change and dual diagnosis are all examined in a way which will, hopefully, encourage alcohol and drug workers to re-evaluate their 'sacred cows'. The authors' clinical experience shines through what I largely experienced as a social-science perspective with a developmental and environmental focus." Addiction Today

"Brave and trenchant… seeks to challenge the rising tide of bio-neuro-genetic determinism in the addiction field, which Harris believes is leaving human need and aspirations, qualities important to its successful treatment, floundering in its wake… He supports his arguments with a comprehensive array of references from both friend and foe of his stance… it hangs together well… This is a handy little guide… Those who spend their time in labs may find it useful as a kind of Gideon Bible to keep by their bedsides to remind them of higher things that those with addiction problems will often need, more than a fix from the laboratories, if they are to recover successfully." Journal of Mental Health.