We invite submissions from people with lived experience of illicit drug use to reflect on how drug use has both featured as part of their personal lives and has informed their public engagement. We are particularly interested in work that explores the tensions intrinsic to negotiating the personal, professional and political in regard to drug user activism and scholarship.

Recent scholarly trends have demonstrated an increased interest in exploring pleasure (see IJDP special issue, Vol 49, 2017) – that is, how drugs are intensely and pleasurably embodied, experienced as both capacitating and sublime. This is a crucial move in subverting dominant, pathologizing narratives around drug use, but, it does not always capture the complexities of identifying as a “person who uses illicit drugs” while also embodying the role of drug use researcher and/or activist. With this special cluster of papers we hope to expand the conversation around how participating in two, at times competing and contradictory worlds impacts one’s output and subjectivities.