Recovery in the US ‘Opioid Crisis’
In this essay, I draw on in-depth ethnographic research conducted in and around Sunrise, a treatment center located in a US state that has been characterized as the ‘overdose capital of America,’ from 2014 to 2015. Inspired by E. Summerson Carr’s call to question the work of ‘crisis,’ I explore the meanings, experiences, and stakes of recovery for Sunrise residents in the context of the ‘crisis.’ The urgency to intervene in the ‘opioid crisis,’ I will argue, intensifies the stakes and dilemmas of treatment for individuals, who are attempting to recover the ‘right’ way under the threat of death. This urgency exacerbates tensions between co-existing, and often contradictory, biomedical and 12 Step models of recovery rooted in disparate ways of framing the role of medications and relapse in recovery.
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