Chapter 8 discusses the less dominant social stories the women told which relocate their lives in particular social and economic contexts. These accounts are tales of gender, poverty and regulation which undermine dominant and official understandings of them. The women saw themselves as rational choice makers in the context of initial socio-economic disadvantage and reduced options. While in policy discourse female users’ maladaptive thinking is seen as the cause of their drug dependence, the women did not see themselves as maladaptive or pathological. Instead they interpreted their behaviour as adaptive, normal and understandable given the poverty and marginalisation that characterized their lives. Focusing on the intervention of social services, the treatment and criminal justice systems, the chapter examines how the women experienced the very control mechanisms brought into place to deal with the perceived chaos in their lives, as plunging their lives into being out of control and in chaos.
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