Jan 22, 2018 in Book Report

The “Righteous Dopefiend” is an impressive study that gives an informative insight into drug addiction and homelessness witnessed in the United States.  Philippe Bourgois and his associate (Jeff) spent a considerable portion of their time following the social network of crack smokers and heroin injectors on the San Francisco streets.  The book provides a captivating narrative concerning the daily struggles of individuals with emotional and physical addiction to heroin (Philippe 45).the primary objective of this research paper is to provide a detailed account of the addicts’ survival as highlighted by Philippe’s book “Righteous Dopefiend”.

The author relays his account of these experiences by highlighting the various analytical aspects and dimensions of the situation in relation to the forces that shaped and influenced the lives of addicts.  The narrative highlights the chaotic lifestyles, which were widely characterized by panhandling, burglary, day labor, and recycling. They engaged in all these activities with the aim of raising income to sustain their addiction.  The author developed various character casts under the themes of race relations, violence, family trauma, social inequity, embodied suffering and power relations.  The literary work ends up as a dispassionate chronicle of loss, survival, hope and caring rooted in the addicts (Phillipe 97).

The determination to continue using the drugs for an extra day, extra “fix” and the social need to share ,the precarious balance of interpersonal betrayal and mutual solidarity.  The photographs capture and provide visual presentation of the poverty, drug use, violence that reveal larger forces imposed by certain structures as well as the contemporary lives.  The book exposes the unintended consequences political, cultural, economic structures and public policies that exacerbate the problem of addiction and other social challenges such as homelessness.  

In conclusion, the literary work attempts to expose the perpetrators and the state responsibility concerning the disadvantaged, the poor and the drug users.  The general moral decay in the society equally plays a significant role in promoting the vise of drug addiction in the contemporary United States (Phillipe 83).  The contradicting political initiatives and the bad policies that criminalize the homeless also contribute to the problem of drug addiction.  The book is therefore an expression of anger that the state lets the vulnerable suffer and even die on the streets, unaided and ignored by the public policies.  


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