Addiction/substance use, stigma, treatment and recovery: Impacts, access and barriers for families in British Columbia

Date created: 
Maya Gislason
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Intergenerational impacts of substance-use
White-settler-patriarchal neoliberal free market capitalist society
Family models of treatment and recovery
Privilege of privacy
Dislocation and psychosocial integration

This thesis explores experiences of addiction/substance-use, stigma, and addictionstreatment/recovery of families across social locations in British Columbia (BC); illuminating how their experiences reflect Bruce K. Alexander’s theory of addiction. Our current addiction-related systemic responses problematically reflect settler-colonial, patriarchal, neoliberal, free-market capitalist, and globalized systems ideologies and values. Indeed, public/private tiered service delivery in BC provides access to treatment according to social locations instead of need. This method of service delivery entrenches stereotypical notions of the ‘addict’ by shielding those with the privilege of privacy, but ultimately fails many families seeking treatment for addiction in different ways according to social locations. Especially worrisome are systemic barriers for families that perpetuate conditions for both relapse and intergenerational trauma to occur. The aims of this qualitative study are to contribute to a growing body of work that argues for the dismantling of oppressive and exclusionary systems of treatment and argues for the advancement of socially-just and family-accessible responses to addiction in BC.

Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Document type: 
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