Addiction surplus: the add-on margin that makes addictive consumptions difficult to contain

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Addictive consumptions generate financial surpluses over-and-above non-addictive consumptions because of the excessive consumption of addicted consumers. This add-on margin or addiction surplus provides a powerful incentive for beneficiaries to protect their income by ensuring addicted consumers keep consuming. Not only that, addiction surplus provides the financial base that enables producers to sponsor activities which aim to prevent public health initiatives from reducing consumption. This paper examines the potency of addiction surplus to engage industry, governments and communities in an on-going reliance on addiction surplus. It then explores how neo-liberal constructions of a rational consumer disguise the ethical and exploitative dynamics of addiction surplus by examining ways in which addictive consumptions fail to conform to notions of autonomy and rationality. Four measures are identified to contain the distorting effects of addiction surplus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107 - 111
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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