Kate Seear’s Book Launch, Law, drugs and the making of addiction. Just Habits.


Kate Seear on stage launching her new book at Loop Project Space and Bar in Melbourne on the 20th of February 2020

Prohibition doesn’t just mean that drugs are illegal to possess, produce, distribute or grow. The fear and misinformation surrounding drugs, fueled by moral panic in the mainstream media and parroted by politicians in the houses of parliament, has another insidious effect.

Law, Drugs and the Making of Addiction. Just Habits, 1st Edition

Associate Professor Kate Seear explores the ethics of law around drug use in her new book, “Law, Drugs and the making of addiction. Just Habits.”
At the book’s launch, Seear talked about her research for the book, and her surprise at a common theme.

“Family violence emerged as a very strong theme. Many of the lawyers I interviewed spoke about the practice of using drugs or alcohol as a kind of strategic device, to try and excuse or explain away family violence, particularly men’s violence towards women.”

Assoc. Prof. Kate Seear, book launch 20th Feb 2020

Seear’s conversations with lawyers and judges lead to a concerning revelation. Alcohol and other drug issues are being used as part of legal strategies to explain away a person’s autonomy. The implications of this on the people involved were too often not considered, and Seear also added that, “This was so sometimes even in the absence of any evidence, or instructions or advice from their client that there was any link.”

Seear’s book unveils the legal ethical web spun around prohibition, and its far reaching effects into people’s everyday lives.

“So a major theme of my book, some what accidentally, became about the ethics of what lawyers do. The way they speak to people, the way they speak about people and the damage that can be done along the way.”

Assoc. Prof. Kate Seear, book launch 20th Feb 2020

The book is published by Routledge, titled “Law, Drugs and the Making of Addiction, Just Habits” by Kate Seear, and the 1st Edition is available now for the serious business price of $252 for a hardback or $113.50 for an e-book.

Associate Professor Kate Seear
Convenor, Australian Drug Lawyers Network
Faculty of Law
Monash University
Adjunct Associate Professor
Social Studies of Addiction Concepts Program, 
National Drug Research Institute
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