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

Peter Anderson, J. Rehm, R. Room

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


Evolutionary biology suggests that humans are active and functional with regard to addictive substances and behaviours, rather than being passive and vulnerable. This applies to a range of substances and chemicals, including also sugars. The heavy use of addictive substances and the heavy engagement in addictive behaviours have a negative impact on a wide range of individual and societal health and well-being outcomes. Harms are worsened by poverty and are compounded by societies’ stigmatized approaches to heavy users of additive substances and behaviours. Unchecked market-driven societies and the policy influence of global businesses are major drivers of harm, and impede effective societal responses beyond placing responsibility on the individual. To reduce the health harms, social costs, and social injustices due to addictive substances and behaviours requires whole-society approaches that put in place institutional and social environments that enable healthier choices to be the easier choices.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this