“Broke and Alone”: I review Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

at The American Conservative: Because most of the traditional pathways to adulthood—marriage, economic independence, stable job—seem out of reach or prove to be reversible, working-class young adults have developed a new definition of maturity. This new pathway relies heavily on therapeutic culture: You become an adult by overcoming the trauma of your past, whether that involved abusive parents, drug addiction, mental illness, or less flamboyant hardships. Young adults who take on this new def … [Read more...]

“When a Child Is a Second Chance”: Me at Acculturated

continuing the series of posts on penitence: When I opened Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, I wasn’t expecting to include it in this series on portrayals of penitence. The new study by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson picks up where Edin and Maria Kefalas’s 2005 Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage left off. Sticking with the same economically-depressed Philadelphia neighborhoods, Doing the Best I Can asks young men how they became fathers, how … [Read more...]

“Demons in Exile”: Marc Maron on Addiction

Lots of stuff I liked here. I don't buy sentences of the form, "Addicts/alcoholics are all [negative generalization]" (because I'm defensive of other people, not because I think those generalizations are especially untrue about me personally) but other than that, good for him. Not sure if I still need to notify you all when there's cussing, but yes, there is....Slate: A big problem for psychiatrists when it comes to understanding addiction is that there are many of us have no experience with … [Read more...]

Thanatostalgia

I don't actually know who Russell Brand is, except that he's British and popular for some reason and he said this thing, which really resonated with me: A new documentary about comedian Russell Brand lays bare the lifelong grip addiction can hold on an individual—even one with long-term recovery. In Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery, BBC3 follows the 37-year-old as he goes back to visit the Focus 12 Centre in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where he got clean in 2002. The program shows di … [Read more...]

“Will the Great US Penal Reform Tip the Balance for Addicts?”: The Fix

feature: ...Now, after decades of runaway incarceration fueled greatly by the War on Drugs, California is in the midst of what one expert calls “the biggest penal experiment in modern history,” diverting tens of thousands of inmates from state prisons to local supervision. California’s so-called realignment leads a growing pack of sentencing and legal reforms nationwide, all designed to change how the US treats low-level offenders—most of them facing drug charges, and many suffering from addicti … [Read more...]

My Keys to Your House

I read Gail Caldwell's 2010 Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship basically because Wesley Hill recommended it so highly. I think my appreciation for the book was more muted than his, but it's a very quick read, and it did portray the small intimacies of friendship between two difficult, standoffish people really well.The short version of the story is that Caldwell met Caroline Knapp when they were both adults and had both quit drinking: Caldwell had been sober for about a … [Read more...]

Photographs of Moms Being Treated for Painkiller Addiction

at the Wall Street Journal: A small but growing number of clinics for mothers-to-be are cropping up around the country in response to a prescription-drug epidemic, which has triggered a rise of addicted mothers giving birth to drug-dependent babies. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of newborns showing symptoms of withdrawal from opioids, which are commonly used to treat pain, rose in the U.S. to 3.4 births per 1,000, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of the American Medical … [Read more...]


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