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Situational factors influencing drug injecting, risk reduction and syringe exchange in Togliatti City, Russian Federation: a qualitative study of micro risk environment

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  • Rhodes, Tim
  • Mikhailova, Larissa
  • Sarang, Anya
  • Lowndes, Catherine M.
  • Rylkov, Andrey
  • Khutorskoy, Mikhail
  • Renton, Adrian

Abstract

We undertook a qualitative study to explore the micro-environment of drug injecting, risk reduction and syringe exchange practices among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Togliatti City, Russia. Semi-structured qualitative interviews (n=57) were undertaken with current IDUs in May 2001. Findings highlight a recent transition away from hanka (a home-produced liquid opiate derived from opium poppy) towards the injection of heroin powder, and a drug use culture in which injecting predominates. Findings emphasise that risk reduction practices may be influenced less by availability of injecting equipment than by an interplay of situational and micro-environmental factors. Principal among these is a reported fear of police detainment or arrest among IDUs which encourages a reluctance to carry needles and syringes, and which in turn, is associated with needle and syringe sharing at the point of drug sale. We note the role of policing practices in influencing risk reduction and the potential role of policing agencies in supporting HIV prevention initiatives among IDUs.

Suggested Citation

  • Rhodes, Tim & Mikhailova, Larissa & Sarang, Anya & Lowndes, Catherine M. & Rylkov, Andrey & Khutorskoy, Mikhail & Renton, Adrian, 2003. "Situational factors influencing drug injecting, risk reduction and syringe exchange in Togliatti City, Russian Federation: a qualitative study of micro risk environment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 39-54, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:1:p:39-54
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2003. "Averting AIDS Crises in Eastern Europe and Central Asia : A Regional Support Strategy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15114.
    2. McNeil, Ryan & Small, Will, 2014. "‘Safer environment interventions’: A qualitative synthesis of the experiences and perceptions of people who inject drugs," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 151-158.
    3. Rhodes, Tim & Singer, Merrill & Bourgois, Philippe & Friedman, Samuel R. & Strathdee, Steffanie A., 2005. "The social structural production of HIV risk among injecting drug users," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(5), pages 1026-1044, September.

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