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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7010003

Is There “Hope for Every Addicted American”? The New U.S. War on Drugs

The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, 365 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [268 KB, uploaded 25 December 2017]

Abstract

The U.S. has been waging a War on Drugs for the last forty years. But in the mid-2010s, a series of reforms have rejected this militant approach. How did these policies manage to break through a gridlocked Congress? What is the nature of these reforms, and what are their political implications? Using critical discourse analysis, I demonstrate that a new policy framework of “addiction recovery” defines the political crises of the opioid epidemic, the failure of the War on Drugs, and mass incarceration in terms of disease, attributing Drug War injustices to prejudice against “addiction,” rather than a constellation of institutional racism, sexism, nativism, and economic exploitation enacted through drug policy. I conclude that characterizing recent reforms as a decisive break with the War on Drugs obscures the ways in which drug policy continues to perpetuate injustice by offering a personal, rather than political, solution in the “hope” of recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: critical discourse analysis; critical addiction studies; drug policy; drug addiction; addiction recovery; War on Drugs critical discourse analysis; critical addiction studies; drug policy; drug addiction; addiction recovery; War on Drugs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Stone, E. Is There “Hope for Every Addicted American”? The New U.S. War on Drugs. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 3.

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