The Everyday Lives of Recovering Heroin Users - RSA

The Everyday Lives of Recovering Heroin Users


  • Drug & alcohol recovery
  • Health & wellbeing

Guest blog from the Library Team

The Every Day Lives of Recovering Heroin Users is not like other studies. It tells the story, or stories of people in recovery, their struggles, fears and hopes, and avoids impersonal statistics.

As a joint effort between academics Joanne Neale (Oxford Brookes), Sarah Nettleton (York) and Lucy Pickering (Glasgow) and produced by the RSA, the book complements and informs the RSA Recovery project’s work in West Kent.

It’s the culmination of a series of interviews with people in recovery, setting out first-hand the difficulties of getting over heroin use. As Steve Broome mentions in his introduction, the most interesting detail to emerge from these interviews is a simple desire to feel ‘normal’. And what is normal? Washing your hair, going to the shops, playing football, meeting friends, relaxing with family, all that. As one of the interviewees says:

“Brushing my teeth didn’t happen. I’ve got teeth missing all over my mouth, they look disgusting… I didn’t wash my hair… I used to have a shower when I really, really had to. [I] was a complete skank. That’s what the heroin does to you.”

Arranged thematically, the book allows you to dip in and out of it. Not only is it a great resource for those working in drug rehabilitation, as people repeatedly mentioned at the book launch, it can provide inspiration for everyone.

You can find The Every Day Lives of Recovering Heroin Users in the Fellows’ library. Other titles in the library on this topic include:

Heroin Century by Tom Cornwath & Ian Smith

Drug Treatment: What Works? by Philip Bean & Teresa Nemitz

Heroin Addiction and the British System by John Strang & Michael Gossop

Drugs: Cultures, Controls and Everyday Life by Nigel South

To find out more about the RSA recovery project why not check out their blog or their recent papers 'Drugs - facing facts',

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