A critical narrative inquiry to understand relapse among Filipino methamphetamine polydrug users in low-income communities

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In the Philippines where an ongoing national drug campaign is implemented, continuous recovery of drug users is compromised especially those coming from low-income communities. However, studies that explore drug relapse and recovery issues in such communities are still scant. As an exemplar case, a critical narrative inquiry was performed to analyze accounts of 17 Filipino male low-income methamphetamine polydrug users and their experiences of repeated drug relapse. Findings show three overarching narratives namely: drug relapse as being taken by the body, drug use as mode of living and thriving in communities, and as a cyclic narrative of rehabilitation and community reintegration. Implications on understanding the interplay between personal agency and broader risk environments are discussed in light of existing rehabilitation and treatment modalities in drug recovery targeting low-income communities.