Addiction Trajectories by Eugene Raikhel

By Eugene Raikhel

Bringing anthropological views to undergo on dependancy, the participants to this significant assortment spotlight the contingency of habit as a class of human wisdom and adventure. in keeping with ethnographic study carried out in websites from alcohol therapy clinics in Russia to Pentecostal habit ministries in Puerto Rico, the essays are associated by means of the individuals' cognizance to the dynamics—including the cultural, medical, criminal, non secular, own, and social—that form the that means of "addiction" specifically settings. They research the way it is known and skilled between execs operating within the legal justice method of a rural West Virginia group; Hispano citizens of recent Mexico's Espanola Valley, the place the speed of heroin overdose is one of the maximum within the usa; homeless ladies partaking in an outpatient habit treatment application within the Midwest; machine-gaming addicts in Las Vegas, and so on. The collection's editors recommend "addiction trajectories" as an invaluable rubric for reading the altering meanings of habit throughout time, position, associations, and person lives. Pursuing 3 fundamental trajectories, the individuals exhibit how habit comes into being as an item of data, 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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We see something that resembles this notion of ‘‘government-byexperiment’’ (Nguyen 2009: 211) and its associated assemblage of institutions, technologies, discursive practices, people, and capital in Lovell’s account of the French state’s attempt to pull drug addicts into the space of healthcare provision and social citizenship through the promotion of high-dose buprenorphine as an opiate-substitution therapy (see this volume and Lovell 2006). More broadly, the chapters by Schüll, Garriott, Meyers, Raikhel, and Hansen all trace unique configurations of the institutional, the social, the discursive, and the material through which experimental trajectories of addiction are forged.

Perhaps its most significant impact on Cedric and Megan was that it held out the possibility of a future free from heroin. Cedric himself uses the term ‘‘cure’’ to describe the future he envisioned for himself and Megan, contradicting contemporary ideas about addiction as a chronic, relapsing disease in which cure is impossible. The stories of Cedric and Megan thus reveal the novel forms of experimentality at work in addiction and its treatment, as well as the blurred boundaries between the two as pharmaceutical interventions such as Suboxone move to the forefront of addiction therapeutics, replacing one object of habitual use with another.

More broadly, the chapters by Schüll, Garriott, Meyers, Raikhel, and Hansen all trace unique configurations of the institutional, the social, the discursive, and the material through which experimental trajectories of addiction are forged. However, recalling the etymological links between ‘‘experiment’’ and ‘‘experience,’’ we might conceive of experimentality in a slightly different way (Desjarlais 1997; Cynthia Scott 1991: 781; Williams 1985: 126). Do we not see the same types of combination taking place as the drug user, gambler, or whoever throws himself or herself into a series of personal experiments with gambling or the drug—the kind of experiments that Walter Benjamin undertook with hashish to achieve a new orientation to the world (Benjamin 2006)?

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