Work in Progress: Addiction, Pragmatism, and History

I’ve been working on a paper recently with a colleague of mine, Nathan Crick at Louisiana State University, and for a bit of a change of pace I thought it would be nice to see if any of our esteemed readers would be interested in – or willing to – take a look at it and offer us their feedback. It’s an effort to use a pragmatic approach to understanding addiction research in order to move the conversation beyond what is often a vituperative debate between proponents of social-constructionist approaches and proponents of biologically reductionist ones. At the same time, it argues that we need to take the perspectives of those we study seriously, and make their perspectives a part of our research endeavors. (A few of you may also recognize it as a further iteration of a paper I gave several years ago at a conference at Emory on addiction, society, and the brain – it has, I think, been improved significantly since then, in large part through Nathan’s efforts. He’s a lot smarter than I am).

I’d love to have anyone who is interested take a look at it and offer some feed back, either in the comments or via email to me at joseph.gabriel AT med.fsu DOT edu. The document is in PDF format, and is encrypted and password protected so that it doesn’t get picked up by Google and other search engines. (You may have to open it in a new tab to get it to work). The password is “pointsadhsblog.” I’m only going to leave the paper up for a week or so, and will delete whatever feedback is posted at that time, so that the paper won’t be considered “published” when I eventually get around to submitting it somewhere.

Anyway, the paper is here. Many thanks.

[update, 9/12/2012: I’ve taken the paper down. Many thanks for the feedback, both in the comments and the private messages. It has been very helpful. If anyone else would like to read the paper please let me know.]

5 thoughts on “Work in Progress: Addiction, Pragmatism, and History”

  1. How can I accept the truth of my view of addiction today, without incorporating, in some way, the many prior beliefs I held over the years, and more importantly, the contexts in which those views were formed? How can we separate the views formed, say, in 12 Step recovery (or psychotherapy) from the philosophy of the recovery itself, the first function of which is to restructure the addict’s past?

  2. Im not a scholar. But I do eat shit like this up. Even though some of its a little heady for me.I am afflicted and diseased with the metaphor of which you speak. I think it’s no coincidence that addiction pathology and capitalism have almost exactly the same time-lines. Anyway with said, I always liked michael tabors dope+capitalism=genocide. I also like crack wars: there is no culture without drug culture.
    Just think of what’s in these days with the hipsters, cultures vanguards.
    Long sleeves w/ shorts in summer, dope fiends have been doing that forever.
    Facial hair, dope fiends can’t afford razors
    Ill fitting tight clothing, we wear whatever is free regardless of cost.
    Ironic tattoos, ours aren’t ironic on purpose
    Living in bad hoods, they do it cause it’s hip, we do it do we won’t have so far to go when we are sick
    Riding bikes, we can’t afford cars and have lost our license anyway
    Weird t-shirts, ours were donated by charity that’s why they’re ironic.
    Anyway I’m getting off course. But I dig your shit.

      • No sweat. Most stuff I learned from my smart harm reduction friends. I hope things go well for you. This is a much needed dialogue. I’m sick of burying friends and sending money to prison.

        Sent from my iPhone

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