Drug Addiction: From Neuroscience to Ethics [2018]

In the present paper, we suggest a potential new ethical analysis of addiction focusing on the relationship between aware and unaware processing in the brain. We take the case of the opioids epidemics to argue that a consideration of both aware and unaware processing provides a more comprehensive ethical framework to discuss the ethical issues raised by addiction. Finally, our hypothesis is that in addition to identified Central Nervous System’s neuronal/neurochemical factors contributing to addictive dynamics, the socio-economic status plays a causal role through epigenetic processes, originating the need for additional reward in the brain. This provides a strong base for a socio-political form of responsibility for preventing and managing addiction crisis.

Michele Farisco, Kathinka Evers and Jean-Pierre Changeux
Frontiers in Psychiatry, 19 November 2018