Addiction Trajectories by Eugene Raikhel

By Eugene Raikhel

Bringing anthropological views to undergo on habit, the members to this crucial assortment spotlight the contingency of habit as a class of human wisdom and adventure. in accordance with ethnographic examine carried out in websites from alcohol therapy clinics in Russia to Pentecostal dependancy ministries in Puerto Rico, the essays are associated via the participants' cognizance to the dynamics—including the cultural, clinical, felony, non secular, own, and social—that form the which means of "addiction" specifically settings. They research the way it is known and skilled between pros operating within the legal justice procedure of a rural West Virginia neighborhood; Hispano citizens of latest Mexico's Espanola Valley, the place the speed of heroin overdose is without doubt one of the optimum within the usa; homeless girls engaging in an outpatient dependancy treatment software within the Midwest; machine-gaming addicts in Las Vegas, and so forth. The collection's editors recommend "addiction trajectories" as an invaluable rubric for studying the altering meanings of dependancy throughout time, position, associations, and person lives. Pursuing 3 basic trajectories, the members exhibit how habit comes into being as an item of information, a website of healing intervention, and a resource of subjective experience.

Contributors. Nancy D. Campbell, E. Summerson Carr, Angela Garcia, William Garriott, Helena Hansen, Anne M. Lovell, Emily Martin, Todd Meyers, Eugene Raikhel, A. Jamie Saris, Natasha Dow Schüll

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Extra resources for Addiction Trajectories

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Mediated by a new set of medical and scientific translations, the current vision of addiction is deeply biological. The ideologies and practices associated with addiction’s biomedical turn, and the institutions in which they are embedded, have generated new affects and narratives of those struggling with addiction. Heroin addicts I spoke with frequently expressed that they had little or no chance of recovery and often explained their pessimism in biological terms. Their addiction, they said, was in the blood, like a virus, something they could not eradicate or recover from, even if they wanted to.

In the process, they reveal both significant differences and unforeseen similarities. Helena Hansen, for instance, examines opioid maintenance therapy based in primary care offices in the United States and Pentecostal addiction ministries in Puerto Rico. The basic differences between these models seem overwhelming: whereas the Puerto Rican addiction ministries view addiction as part of a moral struggle and cater largely to a socially marginalized population (Hansen 2005), buprenorphine treatment operates under the assumption that addiction is a neurochemical disorder and, at least in the United States, has been used primarily by a relatively middle-class and socially integrated population.

Indeed, understanding experience as a driver of such trajectories (rather than simply a means of apprehending them) was a central tenet of some of the earliest important social science work on addiction (H. Becker 1953; Lindesmith 1938). Similarly, in focusing on the trajectories subjects trace in relation to addiction, such as those of Cedric and Megan, the chapters in this volume draw our attention to the motives driving this movement. A desire to locate and consume the object of addiction is a prominent motivation, as is the need to obtain resources, but so is the desire to avoid INTRODUCTION 29 the substance and manage the addiction, to access therapeutic resources and achieve a sense of stasis.

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