Public injecting drug use and the social production of harmful practice in high-rise tower blocks (London, UK): a Lefebvrian analysis
This paper presents, qualitative findings relating to specific environments hitherto unrecognised as settings used for the injecting-use of illicit drugs in an urban setting. This concerns the temporary appropriation of communal space within high-rise social-housing by injecting drug users (IDU); specifically those settings used by tower-block residents for garbage disposal ('bin chute rooms'). These environments were found to be used on daily, habitual bases by all IDU interviewed during the study. Such settings were found to contribute to a wide range of injecting-related harm and hazard. These findings further debate concerning the negative effect of place on health risk in the context of 'public' injecting drug use. These results are situated within Lefebvre's theoretical framework concerning the 'production of space'. It is contended that the 'representational spaces' shaped by IDU creates a dialectic between wider 'spatial practice' and 'representations of space'. Accordingly, it is further suggested that particular 'spaces' of harm reduction (such as 'safer injecting facilities') should be considered in UK settings in order to address injecting-related harm.
Health and Place
Criminology not elsewhere classified