Editorial "Treating addictions. On failures, harms, and hopes of success"
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Original versionJournal of Extreme Anthropology. 2019, 3 (2), i-iii. 10.5617/jea.7634
Treating Addictions is a special issue that emerged out of conference panels at the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in 2018, San Jose, California. The panels, titled Questioning Addiction and Contextualizing Treatment I and II, were organized and chaired by Aleksandra Bartoszko and Paul Christensen. Additionally, participants of the Executive Session panel Anthropologi-cal Interventions in the U.S. Opioid Crisis, organized by Jennifer Carroll, joined this project. The panels, as shown in this special issue, has intellectually attracted addi-tional scholars and advocates. In this issue, readers will find a range of articles questioning many prevailing as-sumptions surrounding the labels of addiction as well as the pervasive methodolo-gies of ‘treatment’ and ‘recovery’. The authors are astutely critical of the oft cor-rosive logics that dictate and organize these conceptual frameworks, offering inno-vative and informative insights, while questioning the ways in which care and treatment(s) can reproduce the very realities they purport to address or even cause harm. Highlighting the paradoxical conditions of institutional approaches to drug use, they document often life-threatening consequences for individuals struggling to realize institutionally and culturally dictated criteria of success. Doing so, they challenge the established understandings of ‘addiction treatment’ as inherently good and ask if there are other ways of social inclusion or of bettering life quality for persons who use drugs.