Trauma, Drug Misuse and Transforming Identities: A Life Story Approach

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Looking at the life stories of drug misusers as told by themselves, this book examines how early childhood experiences can be understood as a precursor to drug misuse and the forces that enable people to transform their habits and lives.

Kim Etherington highlights the value of exploring people's own understanding of their drug misuse in the context of their life stories, their social environments and the wider social and cultural resources they rely on to make sense of their lives. She encourages those working with drug misusers to challenge established deterministic and pathologising notions of 'spoiled identity', which assumes that one's identity is fixed. By separating the person from the problem, it is possible to view their relationship with the problem and to provide them with a stronger sense of agency and power to change.

With compelling first-hand narratives and a positive view of drug misusers' ability to recover, this is essential reading for professionals working with drug users as well as people misusing drugs themselves.