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Journal Article


Wright NM, Tompkins CN, Sheard L. Health Soc. Care Community 2007; 15(5): 417-425.


HMP Leeds, Centre for Research in Primary Care, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


(Copyright © 2007, John Wiley and Sons)






Women are over-represented as the recipients of injections of illicit drugs and are often injected by their intimate partners. This study used qualitative research to explore women drug users' experiences of abuse from intimate partners when being injected with illicit drugs. In-depth interviews were conducted with 45 women drug users in the city of Leeds and the area of North Nottinghamshire, UK. The practice of peer injecting illicit drugs places women recipients at risk of physical, economic and emotional abuse from their male intimate partner injectors. However, this was not a universal feature. In trusting, supportive intimate partner relationships peer injecting took place through reciprocal arrangements. Moving away from peer injecting was technically and emotionally difficult for women and rarely straightforward. The implications of the work are discussed as clinicians and wider drug service staff should be aware of the possibility of abuse and enquire about peer injecting when consulting with women injecting drug users. However, clinicians should avoid working within a simplistic clinical framework that views all peer injecting as intrinsically abusive. More research is needed to provide evidence for best practice. Until then, generic principles of best practice management of intimate partner abuse could apply, including enhancing women's motivation to effect change in an abusive situation.

Language: en


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