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Exchange, deceit, risk and harm: The consequences for women of receiving injections from other drug users

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Publication details

JournalDrugs: education, prevention and policy
DatePublished - Jun 2006
Issue number3
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)281-297
Original languageEnglish


Aims: To explore the consequences for women of being injected with illicit drugs.

Methods: In-depth interviews with 45 women injecting drug users who have been injected by other people.

Findings: Women's reliance on others to administer injections meant they had less control over their drug use. Exchanging drugs as currency for being injected was common and women had little choice but to provide the injector with drugs. Being injected by others often caused the recipient physical harm. Previous experience of deception and harm meant women became more knowledgeable about their injector's intentions and subsequently tried to reduce future damage when being injected. Women appeared to be confused about the risks associated with being injected and the perceived risks were often complex and polarized. Understanding the context and nature of being injected is important for services when working with injection recipients.

Conclusions: This work uncovered ideas about a complex area and highlights the importance for those working with drug users to pay attention to this. Increased training and awareness for drug-service staff about factors influencing being injected and the potential associated risks is recommended. Reinforcing current harm-reduction messages and providing related advice to injection recipients is also important. In improving the knowledge and awareness about being injected, women recipients may gain increased choice and agency in the injection process.

    Research areas

  • injecting drug use, peer injecting, women, qualitative rsearch, risk, HIV RISK, SHOOTING GALLERIES, BEHAVIOR, INFECTION, VANCOUVER, EPIDEMIC, 1ST

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