Addiction Discourse and Sociality: Perspectives from Methamphetamine Users in Suburban USA

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This article contributes to a growing body of literature that emphasizes the social nature of drug use, abuse and addiction. Current discourses of addiction tend to focus on the individual while limiting attention on the social environment and the role of sociality. We seek to contribute a more intuitive, insiders'' perspective of the drug trajectory and a broader conceptualization of addiction. Drawing from our qualitative study on 100 current and former methamphetamine users in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia (USA), we examined the trajectories of methamphetamine use to provide greater insight on what influences drug initiation, progression, cessation and relapse from the users'' perspective. Findings show that the entire drug trajectory is intertwined with, and impacted by, sociality for the majority of drug users in our sample. Moreover, the findings of our study increase our understanding of multiple routes to recovery. We join the call for greater attention to drug use and addiction as a social behavior and future research that focuses more on the role of sociality among drug users