Patient Is the New Black

Treatmentality and Resistance Toward Patientization


  • Aleksandra Bartoszko VID Specialized University



In this essay, I challenge the ways in which global drug policy initiatives call for more humane drug policy and decriminalization. Although these initiatives promote human dignity and agency, they also encourage a particular approach to drug use and addiction. Embracing patientism in their liberating narratives of ‘treatment, not punishment,’ these voices take for granted the advantages of their proposed approach. Drawing on my experiences with Norwegian OST, I illustrate patients’ engagement and resistance towards the politically hyped social categories and ask how we can understand this socio-political desire for a narrative transformation.

Author Biography

Aleksandra Bartoszko, VID Specialized University

Associate professor, Faculty of Social Studies