The art born of opioid addiction

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AS A photographer, Nan Goldin has been drawn to those living on the fringes of society. Best known for her documenting of queer communities devastated by AIDS in the 1980s, she has turned her attention to another demonised group: addicts. “People are afraid to come out about it. That’s one of the main reasons there aren’t more faces of addiction. There is a stigma attached.” Ms Goldin is “trying to break through that veil of shame” by talking about her own battle with addiction to the prescription opioid OxyContin, and campaigning against the Sackler family. Best known as cultural and academic philanthropists, Mortimer, Arthur and Raymond Sackler also derived much of their wealth from Purdue Pharma, which developed the drug. Ms Goldin hopes to publicise the hidden pain of those addicted to opioids, and the many lives lost. “I’ve always thought the personal is political,” she says.

Ms Goldin’s addiction lasted from November 2014 until she went into rehab in February 2017. “It started with extreme pain in my hand. I had…Continue reading

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