Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

A Special Colloquy Downeast Single Event on Friday, August 7th, at 9:30 am

This is a free event which will be presented online via Zoom.

This webinar is free and open to the public by Zoom invitation.

To register and receive a Zoom Invitation email: .

Addiction in the US PowerPoint Slides: OConnor Powerpoint Slides

Why Are So Many People Struggling with Addiction in the United States?

Facilitator: Peg O’Connor

Nearly 25 million people struggle with an addiction in the United States. While addiction is a condition of an individual, addiction ravages families and communities as well. Addiction is arguably one of the most pressing public health issues. It is also a legal and economic issue. Researchers debate whether addiction is a brain disease, a matter of choice, or a consequence of life conditions. This colloquy will explore some of these issues with an eye to untangling some of the puzzles of addiction.

Some of the questions we will explore include:

  • Why are so many people addicted to various substances and behaviors?
  • Are some substances and behaviors more addictive than in the past?
  • What is the responsibility of government and pharmaceutical companies in addiction?
  • Are some people more vulnerable to addiction?
  • Are there effective ways to prevent and treat addiction?

Suggested readings: (Provides six different perspectives on addiction)  (The official position of the National Institute on Drug Abuse)


Peg O’Connor is Professor of Philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Her most recent book is Life on the Rocks: Finding Meaning in Addiction and Recovery. She is the author of a blog series on philosophy and addiction, “Philosophy Stirred, Not Shaken,” available at