A Fine Line pp 229-259 | Cite as

Beyond ‘Addiction’: Dependence, Injecting and Transitions in Opiate Use

  • George C. DertadianEmail author


This chapter addresses the limitations of the framework of addiction for understanding non-medical consumption. It canvasses sociological perspectives on addiction and addresses concern about the pathologizing and individualizing components of addition discourse by exploring the lives of two participants who no longer use drugs. These life histories are used to highlight the way gender, class and medical discourse intersect to constitute addiction in different ways in the lives of different people. The chapter also discusses how qualitative data can complement epidemiological literature about transitions between kinds of opiates and to intravenous drug use. In performing this analysis, the chapter also addresses the role of agency in the construction of the ‘opiate addicted’ subject.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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