Hooked: Narratives of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption

In the midst of New Hampshire's opioid crisis, we are far from the time when addiction was an unfamiliar and even taboo subject. Narratives of addiction and recovery have become their own genre, with familiar shapes and forms that reflect deep cultural ideas about morality, free will, and social responsibility. The popularity of such narratives has created opportunities for empathy and understanding; they have also fostered particular beliefs about how addiction and recovery work. This talk will explore some of the most common stories about addiction, providing tools for understanding on a narrative and structural level. From this foundation, we will explore whether the familiarity of some stories might create barriers to recognizing different experiences of addiction or approaches to recovery, and think about where we might find more diverse accounts to inform our understanding of and response to addiction.