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Accepted Paper:

Forces and Flows: Treating Addiction Without Using Models  
Joseph Tulasiewicz (University College London)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper argues that addiction is a continually changing family of problems created by forces and flows in the world. It imagines a future for addiction healthcare where narrow diagnostic models are foregone in favour of intervention targeted at these forces and flows.

Paper Abstract:

For years the “brain disease” model has been dominant in the addiction world. Social scientists have been calling for this model to be re-evaluated for years – and now many doctors and scientists are joining them. Treatments derived from it have some of the lowest efficacy rates and highest remission rates of any psychiatric problem. Which is why it is so important to look for new ways of defining it. This paper will look at how addiction has been conceptualised through history in an attempt to formulate a new way of thinking about for the future. It draws on ethnography conducted at an internet addiction rehab in the USA, as well as a famous essay by Tim Ingold on creativity, to argue that addiction is a continually changing family of problems arising from “fields of force and flows” in the world. The paper imagines a future for addiction healthcare – and mental healthcare more broadly – where narrow diagnostic models are foregone in favour of interventions calibrated towards these forces and flows.

Panel P195
Towards healthcare 3.0? Undoing the past and doing the future of curing and healing [Medical Anthropology Europe (MAE)]
  Session 2 Friday 26 July, 2024, -