2021 was a year of very ominous weather reports. There were unprecedented heat emergencies, wildfires, and Biblical floods. Meanwhile COVID-19, income inequality, and the overdose crisis continued to become more and more grim. 

What would it feel like to endure all of this as a young person? What would it be like to try to build a life through the chaos? 

To find out, we asked Rainbow, a young woman in her 20s, to record big and small moments from her life for 40 days. 

This is Rainbow’s story. 

Transcript

Click this link to access a transcript for Episode 28. Our transcripts include footnotes linking the story to research literature. 

Learning Outcomes

Crackdown episodes are frequently used as educational tools by teachers and community organizers. Please let us know if your class or group listens to our work! 

Episode 28 is especially useful for exploring the following themes: 

  • Navigating systems of care as a young person in Canada. 
  • Supportive housing. 
  • Romantic relationships and structural vulnerability. 
  • Stimulant use and productivity. 
  • Safe supply prescribing. 

Works Cited

CBC News. “2021 now deadliest year for illicit-drug overdoses in B.C.” CBC News. December 9, 2021. 

CBC News. “B.C. Bracing for Increase in COVID Hospitalizations Amid 5th Wave.” December 29, 2021. 

Fast, Danya. “Going Nowhere: Ambivalence about Drug Treatment during an Overdose Public Health Emergency in Vancouver.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 35, no. 2 (2018): 209-225. 

Fast, Danya. “‘We Don’t Belong There’: New Geographies of Homelessness, Addiction, and Social Control in Vancouver’s Inner City.” City and Society 30, no. 2 (2018): 237-262.

Fast, Danya, Thomas Kerr, Evan Wood, and Will Small. “The Multiple Truths about Crystal Meth among Young People Entrenched in an Urban Drug Scene: A Longitudinal Ethnographic Investigation.” Social Science and Medicine 110 (2014): 41-48. 

McNeil, Ryan, Taylor Fleming, et al. “Navigating Post-Eviction Drug Use Amidst a Changing Drug Supply: A Spatially-Oriented Qualitative Study of Overlapping Housing and Overdose Crises in Vancouver, Canada. Drug and Alcohol Dependence.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2021). 

Nosyk, Bohdan et al. “Evaluation of Risk Mitigation Measures for People with Substance Use Disorders to Address the Dual Public Health Crises of COVID-19 and Overdose in British Columbia: a Mixed-Method Study Protocol.” BMJ Open (2021): 1-15. 

Stacey, Jocelyn. “The Year the Climate Emergency Came to British Columbia.” December 13, 2021.

Suggested Additional Readings

For more discussion theorizing about romantic relationships and drug use, see: 

  • Bourgois, Phillippe and Jeff Schonberg. Righteous Dopefiend. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Credits

Crackdown is produced on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories. 

If you like what we do, please consider donating to the show on Patreon

Special thanks to Lee and Reith Charlesworth. 

Our editorial board is: Samona Marsh, Shelda Kastor, Greg Fresz, Jeff Louden, Dean Wilson, Laura Shaver, Reija Jean. Rest in Peace Dave Murray and Chereece Keewatin.

This episode was conceptualized, written, and produced by Rainbow, Sam Fenn, Alexander Kim, Alex De Boer, Danya Fast, Ryan McNeil, Lisa Hale and Garth Mullins. 

Sound design by Alexander Kim. 

Original score was written and performed by James Ash, Sam Fenn, and Garth Mullins. 

We produced this episode in Partnership with Professor Danya Fast. It was funded in part by  Frayme and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

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