Here is an interview with Nora Volkow on NPR’s Fresh Air. Volkow is director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and she has done very interesting work on drug abuse.
I’ve found that, particularly in reading moral psychology, ethics and action theory, examples of drug addictions and compulsive behaviors abound: How do we distinguish between weakness of will, indulgence and addiction? Are drug addicts blameworthy? Is someone blameworthy if she does not have self-control? What is self-control? Does self-control matter for blameworthiness and praiseworthiness? When all the evidence points to the fact that one is an addict and one still denies there is a problem, is this self-deception? How, for that matter, does self-deception work exactly?
The list goes on.
At about 27:17 in the interview, Terri Gross asks Volkow how she started doing drug research. Volkow says she has always been fascinated about what happens in people who can no longer control their acts; people who say ‘I don’t want to do X’ but who cannot control it—they do X. This is, she says, at the heart of free will. In people who are addicted to drugs, the ability for self-control is greatly undermined, according to Volkow.