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’As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a strong sense of being permeable, porous, of my body being open to the unpredictable forces of outside matter.’
On Drugs explores philosopher Chris Fleming’s experience of addiction, which begins when he is a student and escalates into a life-threatening compulsion.
In a memoir by turns insightful and outlandish, Fleming combines meticulous observation with a keen sense of the absurdity of his actions. He describes the intricacies of drug use and acquisition, the impact of drugs on the intellect and emotions, and the chaos that emerges as his tightly managed existence unravels into hospitalisations, arrests and family breakdown. His account is accompanied by searching reflections on his childhood, during which he developed acute obsessive compulsive disorder and became fixated on the rituals of martial arts, music-making and bodybuilding.
In confronting the pathos and comedy of drug use, On Drugs also opens out into meditations on the self and its deceptions, religion, masculinity, mental illness, and the tortuous path to recovery.
’Philosopher Chris Fleming’s memoir is a searching, considered account of drug and alcohol use and the mechanisms of addiction. Fleming traces his history of marijuana, codeine-based painkillers and alcohol consumption, as his fluctuating control over his drug use ultimately deteriorates….As well as being an engaging writer, Fleming is skilled at pulling a diverse array of academic theory and ideas into his memoir, and making them relevant to his project of understanding addiction.’ – Brad Jefferies, Books+Publishing
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