The book explores the interrelation between carceral conditions and substance use by considering the intersections between drug markets, sidewalks, households, and prisons in Baltimore. Sanaullah Khan argues that while housing, medicalization, and incarceration fundamentally create the conditions for substance use, individuals are increasingly experiencing the paradoxes of care and punishment by being propelled into a new regime of recovery which creates new pharmaceuticalized identities. By shedding light on how addiction and the impetus for healing moves through families and institutions of the state, Khan provides an account of the different competing forces that shape substance use, recovery, and relapse. Through a combination of archival research and ethnography, the book makes a case for disentangling punishment from recovery.
Sanaullah Khan is a medical and psychiatric anthropologist.
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Public Health and Discipline
Chapter 2: Carceral Obligations and The Prison of The Mind
Chapter 3: Courts, Drug Treatment Programs and the Re-making of Family
Chapter 4: Medicalizing Homelessness
Chapter 5: Treatment Centers and the Drug Market
Chapter 6: Substance Use, Discipline and Household Disorders
Conclusion: From Ethnography to Practice
About the Author
In this deeply engaging, on-the-ground account of drug abuse in Baltimore, Sanaullah Khan closely examines and brings to life the vagaries of street life, the burdens of imprisonment, the inadequacies of drug treatment, and the failure and punitive nature of much drug policy in the city he grew to love and mourn for. All of this is neatly captured in his sentence: “Baltimore became home but was also my disappointment with the promise of American dream.” Beginning with the police shooting of Freddie Gray, a man police saw narrowly as a criminal street drug dealer, and ending with the transition from ethnography to application, this book is a valuable and thought-provoking contribution to our understanding of drug abuse in Baltimore and beyond as well as a call to action.