To register use the button below to request tickets

Addiction is not a disease

BY spectator events


November 21, 2013

6:45 pm

The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BS


Andrew Neil, chairman, The Spectator Magazine Group

Dr Aric Sigman, For the motion,chartered biologist, chartered psychologist and associate fellow, British Psychological Society

Damian Thompson, For the motion, editor, Telegraph blogs and reformed alcoholic

Theodore Dalrymple, For the motion, writer, former prison Doctor and psychiatrist

Dominic Ruffy, Against the motion, resilience programmes manager, Amy Winehouse Foundation Programme

Trinny Woodall, Against the motion, television presenter and author

Vik Watts, Against the motion, lead consultant, addiction treatment and consultant psychiatrist, The Priory


The audience voted in favour of the motion 165:77.

Is addiction really a disease, or is it simply a behaviour that we need to find a way of modifying? Some argue that addiction has a biological basis; others are convinced that fighting addiction is just a matter of sheer willpower.