Injecting drug use and unstable housing: Scope for structural interventions in harm reduction

Article


Briggs, Daniel, Rhodes, Tim, Marks, Dalya, Kimber, Jo, Holloway, Greg and Jones, Steve 2009. Injecting drug use and unstable housing: Scope for structural interventions in harm reduction. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. 16 (5), pp. 436-450.
AuthorsBriggs, Daniel, Rhodes, Tim, Marks, Dalya, Kimber, Jo, Holloway, Greg and Jones, Steve
Abstract

Evidence links unstable housing, and especially homelessness, with elevated health harm among drug users, including riskier drug injecting practices. We undertook 45 in-depth qualitative interviews with injecting drug users (IDUs) in Bristol and London in 2006. IDUs were recruited through drug user networks and drug agencies. Temporary accommodation and hostels for the homeless may provide a ‘safe haven’ from street-based drug use and public injecting environments, and are characterised as a retreat from the ‘chaos’ of the street. But hostels may also constitute ‘risk environments’ in facilitating drug using and risk networks, transitions to new patterns of use, including increased frequency of injecting. For some, homelessness was positioned as ‘safer’ than temporary housing with regards to managing drug use. Stable housing emerges as a key structural factor in creating enabling environments for health. We emphasise that temporary accommodation hostels have potential for harm-reduction interventions, but may also be associated with the production of risk related to drug use and injecting.

KeywordsTemporary housing; Homelessness; Injecting drug use; Harm reduction
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Journal citation16 (5), pp. 436-450
ISSN0968-7637
Year2009
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1622
Publication dates
Print2009
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Jun 2012
Additional information

Citation:
Briggs, D., Rhodes, R., Marks, D., Kimber, J., Holloway, G. and Jones, S. (2009), "Injecting drug use and unstable housing: Scope for structural interventions in harm reduction", Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy, 16(5), pp. 436-450, DOI: 10.5042/data.2010.0726..

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