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The pill hustle: Risky pain management for a gunshot victim

Social Science & Medicine, December 2013, Vol.99, pp.162-168 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    The pill hustle: Risky pain management for a gunshot victim
  • Author: Lee, Jooyoung
  • Found In: Social Science & Medicine, December 2013, Vol.99, pp.162-168 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: USA ; Gun Violence ; African American Health ; Pain ; Health Care ; Social Support ; Medicine ; Social Sciences (General) ; Public Health
  • Language: English
  • Description: How do gunshot victims manage pain without health care? This paper examines this question through ethnographic data of a single gunshot victim who self-medicated with Percocet. The observations for this paper were collected in Philadelphia between January of 2010 and October of 2011, and were part of a larger ethnographic study that included 40 gunshot victims recruited from an outpatient trauma clinic. Although this victim was able to manage his pain, he ultimately became addicted to Percocet and became entangled in the personal stress and conflicts of his pill hustlers. His story shows how health care insecurity can funnel victims of gun violence into increasingly risky ventures to find pain relief. The findings from this study show the pressing need to expand rehabilitative care to all gunshot victims.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0277-9536 ; E-ISSN: 1873-5347 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.08.032

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