This book explores pain in a number of ways. At the heart of the book is an extension of Melzack's neuromatrix theory of pain into the social, cultural, and economic fields. Specific assemblages involving varied institutions, flows of capital, encounters, and social and economic structures provide a framework for the formation of pain, its perception, experience, meaning, and cultural production. Complementing the extended neuromatrix is a second theory, focussed on the propensity of western market capitalism to seek out new areas of life to subsume to capital. Pain is one such life area that is now ripe for exploitation. Although the book has theory at its heart, it draws extensively on case studies to identify the contradictions and complexities. Case studies are drawn from accounts of drug use in varied contexts such as prescription drugs, methamphetamine use, oxycodone use in North America, and the global rise of the medicinal cannabis marketplace.