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Impact of Syringe Access on Injection Drug Users in Maricopa County

Description

Injection drug use can result in a variety of negative health complications, many of which are caused or exacerbated through reuse and/or sharing of used injection equipment such as syringes,

Injection drug use can result in a variety of negative health complications, many of which are caused or exacerbated through reuse and/or sharing of used injection equipment such as syringes, cookers, cottons, etc. The purpose of this thesis is to review the impact of the lack of resources such as needle exchange programs (NEPs) and general access to syringes on intravenous drug users in Maricopa County. This review is placed within the larger context to contrast with increased access to sterile syringes in major cities of the United States where there have been policies implemented aiming at harm reduction models of community outreach such as NEPs. To supplement this policy analysis, I conducted seven interviews and analyzed interview data to provide personal insights from the perspectives of users. I also surveyed nine current injection drug users, asking them questions about their use of syringes. Increasing awareness of the perspectives of injection drug users and the harms associated with intravenous drug use, especially when drug users are unable to access sterile, new syringes will help to facilitate increased access to harm reduction resources and reduce stigma.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05