This article examines the socio-political intricacies of the United States Opiate Crisis. By first addressing the pharmaceutical origins of Oxycontin and its pain relief benefits within the United States, I construct a framework by which a conversation about substance abuse can move forward. Within the first chapter I provide background into the arguments for medicalization against personal responsibility as it relates to opiate withdrawal and seeking treatment for the prior. Furthermore, I include subheadings to further provide insight into Medically Assisted Treatment Centers and their function on the local level. I contrast these modern treatment models with the Reagan War on Drugs mentalities and illustrate a larger societal tonal shift towards increased medicalization. My second chapter addresses the bulk of my theoretical frameworks, including spatial and feminist theories to construct an argument about patriarchal dominance in relation to factors such as homelessness, race, and socioeconomic status. Finally, in my third chapter I examine the current debate regarding whether or not the U.S. Opiate Crisis can truly be considered a crisis. I address the arguments for why it could still be considered a widespread crisis, and end on the central argument for the crisis being a symptom of Disease of Despair.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Foerster, John C., "Doctors and "Dopefiends": Perspectives on the U.S Opiate Crisis, 21st Century" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 790.