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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2024 - 14 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 11

Health Commun


“Saving us to Death”: Ideology and Communicative (Dis)enfranchisement in Misapplications of the 2016 CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines.


Hintz EA, Applequist J


Guided by the theory of communicative (dis)enfranchisement (TCD), this study interrogates how interactions in which chronic pain patients are force tapered from their prescribed opioids are constrained and afforded by the hegemonic ideologies. To interrogate the harms caused for chronic pain patients by ideological policies enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and assess what communicative mechanisms reify and resist such ideologies, this research analyzes 238 posts authored by chronic pain patient Reddit users. Reflexive thematic analysis illuminated a hegemonic ideology of opiophobia, (im)material ramifications of (a) discrimination by doctors, and (b) political and legal interference; mechanisms of reification: (a) positioning suicide as a rational option, (b) advocating for the use of illicit substances, and (c) stopping opioids voluntarily; and mechanisms of resistance: (a) counter-organizing and (b) counter-generating knowledge. We offer theoretical implications for the TCD and practical implications for patients, providers, patient advocacy organizations, and policymakers.