What is addiction?

Now that the prestigious Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DSM V) has recognised gambling as a behavioural addiction, some fear the door has been opened to medicalising any form of harmful, compulsive behaviour. While some argue that viewing addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing opens up more possibilities for treatment and recovery, others insist it removes the individual’s responsibility for their own situation. So is it possible to draw a distinction between those who are addicted to certain substances and those who are engaging in harmful behaviours of their own free choosing? This terrific debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas festival gives us a real sense of what is at stake.