"That Look That Makes You Not Really Want to Be There": Health Care Experiences of People Who Use Illicit Opioids in Small Urban and Rural Communities - A Critical Social Theory Analysis
Hardill, Kathryn Ann
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The phenomenon of interest is the health care experiences of people who use illicit opioids in small Ontario urban and rural communities. Using the qualitative constructivist paradigm the perspectives of participants who used opioids and of nurse participants were interpreted using Frieres critical social theory framework to explore sociopolitical, economic and ideological influences. Findings describe a divide between people who use illicit opioids and the nurses who care for them: Its Like A Switch Gets Flipped (describing an abrupt change in attitude by nurses once illicit substance use is identified), Reciprocal Mistrust, Caring for Women is Different and In a Small Town the Stigma Lasts Forever. Discussion places these findings in the context of health care systems as agents of social control, the influence of neoliberalism, and the impact of the global War on Drugs. Findings lead to recommendations for contextualized nursing practice, education and research and for policy change.