Despite increasingly nuanced understandings of the neurobiology of addiction and a greater appreciation of the social and economic conditions that allow drug dependency to persist, there remain many unknowns regarding the individual experience of substance abuse and its treatment. In recent years, novel pharmaceutical therapies have given rise to both new hopes for recovery and renewed fears about drug diversion and abuse. In The Clinic and Elsewhere, Todd Meyers looks at the problems of meaning caused by drug dependency and appraises the changing terms of medical intervention today.
By following a group of adolescents from the time they enter drug rehabilitation treatment through their reentry into the outside world-the clinic, their homes and neighborhoods, and other institutional settings-Meyers traces patterns of life that become mediated by pharmaceutical intervention. His focus is not on the drug economy but rather on the therapeutic economy, where new markets, transactions of care, and highly porous conceptions of success and failure come together to shape addiction and recovery. The book is at once a meditative work of anthropology, a demonstration of the theoretical and methodological limits of medical research, and a forceful intervention into the philosophy of therapeutics at the level of the individual.
Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Nfyy21fxp8&list=UUge4MONgLFncQ1w1C_BnHcw&index=12&feature=plc
1. New Uses for Old Things
3. Appropriations of Care
4. Therapy and Reason
Conclusion: Enduring Presence
“Central to this compelling ethnographic monograph, as indicated by its subtitle, is what the author calls the ‘afterlife’ of therapy: what happens to teenagers following buprenorphine treatment? […] As an anthropological study, the concerns here are not standardised clinical outcome measures, although Meyers certainly does not dismiss these. Instead, they are the less tangible and more complex biographical details of former adolescent drug-takers lives. […] The Clinic and Elsewhere is, of course, written for fellow anthropologists rather than biologists, but there is much to recommend here for scientists concerned with what happens to the substances they develop once they have left the walls of the laboratory, and how young lives are impacted and changed in the process.”—The Biologist, 1st September
Unflinching and erudite, The Clinic and Elsewhere is an evocative ethnography on the meaning of clinical encounters in an age of adolescent addiction. For people living with addictions, family members, treatment providers, and all who struggle with recovery, Meyers shows how much place matters for the therapeutic careers of adolescent patients.
Nancy D. Campbell, author of Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research
A provocative and innovative portrayal of the real—life tension between curing and healing—a tension that pervades both the moral—social world of the clinic and the life—world of the patient and the various bodies that she either occupies or provides—experimental, therapeutic, dangerous, medically altered, reluctant, and recovered.
Allan Young, McGill University
The Clinic and Elsewhere is a compelling exploration of the uses and implications of drug addiction treatment. I know of no other text that examines the many tricky dimensions of substance use therapy programs in such rich and informed terms. Part anthropological inquiry, part ethnographic portrait, it will make a lasting contribution to the study of medical care and practice in the world today.
Robert Desjarlais, Sarah Lawrence College
Meyers’ exceptional work does a wonderful job of making ‘visible what is visible’ about the lived realities of adolescent drug users, the emergent geographies of contemporary drug treatment, and the philosophical foundations of the clinic.
Society and Space—Environment and Planning
Central to this compelling ethnographic monograph, as indicated by its subtitle, is what the author calls the ‘afterlife’ of therapy: what happens to teenagers following buprenorphinetreatment?...There is much to recommend here for scientists concerned with what happens to the substances they develop once they have left the walls of the laboratory, and how young lives are impacted and changed in the process.
Dr. Martyn Pickersgill
Unlike the more commonly encountered statistics of drug use and abuse found in other books, the author’s ethnographic approach provides a very real sense of the subjects’ lives, their experiences, and their definitions of success and failure.
A book rich in ideas and one that resists oversimplification…the richness, the layers, and the range of theoretical and methodological discussions that form part of the book are what makes Meyers’ contribution relevant to ongoing discussions in a range of fields.
[A]n appropriate book to teach a wide range of anthropology classes. . . . [A]n excellent example of writing about the intersection of methodology and theory. . . . Through its seriousness of purpose and intellectual rigor, The Clinic and Elsewhere leaves us, thankfully, curious and unsettled, asking: What will happen next in addiction medicine? And, equally important, how will we think about it?
Kelly Ray Knight
Medical Anthropology Quarterly