Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Research Article


This analysis sets out to inquire why the comprehensive public health response to the alarming surge in illicit opioid and stimulant-related fatalities in the Canadian province of British Columbia has not yielded the intended results, despite its forward-thinking policies grounded in a concern for health over criminalization (Govt of BC, 2016; Burton et al., 2021). I will claim that this purportedly progressive approach to public health has been ineffective because it fails to address the socio-political drivers of the overdose crisis. Relating the work of cultural anthropologist Philippe Bourgois on drug use as a coping mechanism and Carol Bacchi’s ontopolitical approach to the issue, I will trace the discursive dynamics through which the opioid crisis has been constructed in a manner that obviates its structural roots in the political economy of capitalist democracies.




December 26, 2023


December 28, 2023