International Summer University in Social Work
A journey through the addiction quagmire: linking the personal to the socio-political
Statistics are emerging that suggests that the number of deaths related to opioid addictions in North America now surpass those related to motor vehicle accidents. In August, 2013, these statistics became very personal when my eldest son died from a drug overdose.... he was living in a 2nd stage recovery home at the time, excited about the prospect of welcoming his unborn daughter into the world, and desperately committed to staying clean so that he could be a good father. He had been struggling with substance-use/abuse related issues for over twelve years. As a mother, I spent those years alternating between feeling helpless as I watched things spiralled further and further out of control, committed to finding a path that would allow me to be a support to my beloved son, and drawing on my social work skills to take on a system that clearly wasn’t working. In this presentation, I will be talking about this journey through the quagmire of addiction. Using an ethics of care framework, my goal is to critically examine how our societal treatment lenses create unspoken and unacknowledged ethical issues and tensions that invariably further stigmatize those with substance abuse issues and their family.
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