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Speaker Series: Dr. Kelly Knight

February 5, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC+0


Examining The Science Of The “Toxic Womb” And The Role Of Structural Vulnerability In The US Opioid Crisis

addicted.pregnant.poor is an ethnography addressing the biomedical, social, economic, public health, policy, and ethical dimensions of ongoing illicit substance use during pregnancy. To answer the question “What forms of life are possible here?” the book engaged with all the social actors who are called upon to produce knowledge about addicted pregnancy, including addicted, pregnant women, anthropologists, public health epidemiologists, advocates, social policy-makers, treatment professionals, bureaucrats, and neuroscientists.

This talk will trace how the science of prenatal substance use exposure, media images of “addict moms,” and the everyday realities of structural vulnerability (e.g. housing instability, criminal justice system involvement, child welfare adjudication) collectively impact the lives of women who use substances while pregnant and their children. I will discuss current innovations in health professional education and health activism advocating for increased political visibility and treatment access of pregnant people with substance use disorders.

Kelly Ray Knight, PhD is Associate Professor in the UCSF Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine and affiliated faculty with the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Global Health Sciences and Center for Vulnerable Populations.  Her current NIH-funded research explores strategies people experiencing homelessness deploy to prevent poor health outcomes in the context of structural vulnerability and the consequences of reductions in opioid prescribing in safety net, primary care settings. She is faculty lead on undergraduate addiction medicine and structural competency medical education at UCSF. Her ethnography, addicted.pregnant.poor, was awarded the British Sociological Association’s Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness 2016 Book Award, an Honorable Mention for the Society of Medical Anthropology’s 2016 Eileen Basker Prize, and was a finalist (5/94) for the 2015 C. Wright Mills Award.

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February 5, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC+0
Event Category:


Institute for Addiction Science
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Soto Street South Building
2001 N Soto Street
Los Angeles, CA 90032
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