Deviant disabilities: the exclusion of drug and alcohol addiction from the Equality Act 2010
Flacks, S. (2012) Deviant disabilities: the exclusion of drug and alcohol addiction from the Equality Act 2010. Social & Legal Studies, 21 (3). pp. 395-412. ISSN 1461-7390
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1177/0964663912437991
The Equality Act 2010, in keeping with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, excludes those identified as drug and alcohol ‘addicted’ from the scope of provisions prohibiting discrimination against disabled people. This article addresses the significance of, and justification for, this exclusion. It begins with a legislative background to the relevant limitation and subsequently examines its rationale according to prevailing legal, medical and sociological discourses. The article then considers the relevance of the discussion for disability rights. Although ‘addiction’, or the preferred term, ‘substance dependence’, is classified as a disability for international systems of disease classification, the relevance of substance dependence for discussion on disability rights, and of disability for discussion on substance dependence, has largely escaped critical comment.