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Int J Drug Policy. 2010 Sep;21(5):437-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2010.02.003. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Misdirected opposition: Evidence opposing "not in my back yard" arguments against syringe exchange programmes.

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1
University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, 1603 West Taylor Street, MC923, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. chevy@uic.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite overwhelming evidence of their effectiveness, the establishment and maintenance of syringe exchange programmes (SEPs) in the US continue to draw opposition from community members, religious and political leaders, and law enforcement officials. One argument against SEPs is that they draw drug activity into the communities where they operate.

METHODS:

We use 8 years of survey data from participants attending an SEP in Chicago to explore this argument by reviewing responses (N=4827) to a question asking participants the main reason they spend time in the area.

RESULTS:

Findings show far more participants come to the area to buy drugs (60%) than to exchange needles (3.8%), and differences exist by ethnicity. More whites than blacks or Latinos reported being in the area primarily to buy drugs and use the SEP.

CONCLUSION:

Re-directing opposition from SEPs to constructive ways of addressing fundamental causes of drug markets is recommended.

PMID:
20233654
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugpo.2010.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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