From “Addiction in American Life” to the Addiction Oral History Project

Every semester the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program offers an undergraduate internship for those interested in learning oral history theory and practice, archive management, and so on. SPOHP maintains several ongoing projects but also welcomes the development of new collections and, with the help of some enthusiastic interns, during my tenure as an internship coordinator in spring 2015 I inaugurated a new collection centered on addiction. The Addiction Oral History Project features some life histories of self-professed addicts in recovery, treatment providers, drug court personnel, and addiction researchers (from the humanities and sciences).

Said enthusiastic interns and coordinators

I wrote about my experience putting together the thematic internship, titled “Addiction in American Life,” in a post last summer. This time around, I’m excited to announce that the interviews and transcripts are now available online! Curious readers should first peruse the podcasts created in spring 2015. (Many, though not all, were created from the relevant interviews.) You can then search for particularly interesting narratives on the Addiction Oral History Project’s web page.

I hope this modest but growing collection can be of use to researchers and of interest to everyone else. For now, the stories mostly involve the onset and maintenance of addiction, law enforcement protocols, changing drug use patterns, and life in Florida cities like Gainesville and Jacksonville since the 1960s. Forthcoming additions will include active user experiences and views on evolving drug scenes, as well as insider perspectives on the policymaking process, among others. I will update Points readers about significant new interviews as they are transcribed and uploaded. In the meantime, like any good oral historian should, I only ask that you talk about it.

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