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‘You have to make a new way of life’: women's drug treatment programmes as therapeutic landscapes in Canada

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The concept of the ‘therapeutic landscape’ has been widely applied by health geographers over the past decade and a half. Despite its broad application, the concept has been criticized. Some scholars, for example, have argued that it adopts an overly positive view of the health effects of therapeutics settings. Others have noted a lack of attention to gender. In this article we respond to these limitations by engaging with feminist research on women and drug use to critically examine women's experiences of the therapeutic space of drug treatment programmes. Drawing on in-depth interviews and participant observation conducted at two sites in southern Ontario, we examine the ways in which programmes' organizational logics, daily routines and social spaces are shaped by gendered assumptions about the nature of, and solutions to, women's drug use. In so doing, we contribute to a more nuanced and critically informed understanding of such landscapes.

Keywords: Canada; Canadá; drug use; gender; género; mujeres; paisajes terapéuticos; therapeutic landscapes; tratamiento; treatment; uso de drogas; women

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Geography and Earth Science, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street WestHamilton,Ontario, CanadaL8S 4M1, 2: School of Geography, University of Southampton, Southampton,SO17 1BJ, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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