Looking at the life stories of ex-drug misusers in their own words, this book offers insights into the nature of addiction and how it can be tackled. It examines the links between early childhood experiences and drug misuse and also shows pathways to recovery and transformation. Kim Etherington highlights the therapeutic value of listening to drug misusers' life stories and the importance of understanding how social environments and the wider cultural influences shape people's lives. She encourages people working with drug misusers to challenge pathologising tions of 'spoiled identity', which assume that identity is fixed. By taking a step back and separating the person from the problem, it is possible to help them explore their relationship with drugs in ways that encourage a stronger sense of agency and power to change. With compelling first-hand narratives and practical strategies to encourage drug misusers' ability to recover, this is essential reading for professionals working with drug users as well as people misusing drugs themselves.
Kim Etherington is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol and a private counselling and supervision practitioner. For 12 years she has been supporting people who work with drug misusers in the Southmead Drugs project, a community-based project in a deprived area of Bristol. The project was awarded the Queens medal in 2004. She is the author of Becoming a Reflexive Researcher - Using Our Selves in Research and Narrative Approaches to Working with Adult Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, and the editor of Counsellors in Health Settings, Rehabilitation Counselling in Physical and Mental Health and Trauma, the Body and Transformation, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.