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Opioids: Addiction, Narrative, Freedom

Maia Dolphin-Krute

Published onNov 27, 2021
Opioids: Addiction, Narrative, Freedom

Opioids: Addiction, Narrative, Freedom

Maia Dolphin-Krute

Imprint: Brainstorm Books

  • ISBN: 978-1-947447-83-7

  • Paperback, 5×8 in., B/W, 190pp.

  • Publication date: October 5, 2018

  • Price: $21

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An epidemic is a feeling set within time as much as it is a matter of statistics and epidemiology: it is the feeling of many of us in the same desperate place at the same desperate time. Opioid epidemic thus names a present moment — at once historic and historical — centered on the substance of opioids as much as it names the urgency of all of us who are currently in proximity to these substances. What is the relationship between these historic and historical moments, the present moment, the history of pharmacological capitalism, and a set of repeated neurological activities, as well as human loss and desire, that has fueled the exponential rise in the rates of opioid use and abuse between 2000-2018?

Opioids: Addiction, Narrative, Freedom is an auto-ethnography written from deep within—biologically within—this opioid epidemic. Tracing opioids around and through the bodies, governmental, and medical structures they are moving and being moved through, Opioids is an examination of what it means to live within an environment saturated with a substance of deep economic, political, neuroscientific, and pharmacological implications. From exploring media coverage of the epidemic and emerging medical narratives of addiction to detailing the legal inscription of differences between “pain patients” and people addicted to drugs, Opioids consistently asks: what is it like to live within an epidemic? What forms of freedom become possible when continually modulated by our physical experiences of the material proximities of an epidemic?

How do you live with something for a long time?

Maia Dolphin-Krute is a writer and artist based in Boston. Working across medical anthropology, disability studies, and performance, she is also the author of Ghostbodies: Towards a new theory of invalidism (Intellect, 2017) and Visceral: Essays on Illness Not as Metaphor (Brainstorm Books/Punctum, 2017). She also serves as editor at the journal The Deaf Poets Society and is co-producer of a civic engagement and theater project focused on the opioid epidemic, The Way We Live Now (2018). Currently, Dolphin-Krute is engaged in a long-term research project about the forms of freedom that become possible when continually modulated by physical experiences and material proximities; about how do you “live with.” More information about her work can be found at Ghostbodies.

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