Medically supervised injecting centers, or drug consumption rooms are officially sanctioned places where people can inject or smoke illegal drugs in hygienic conditions and under supervision. Their ostensible purposes are to protect the health of drug users and contain the nuisance potential of open drug markets. This article argues that the debates and arguments supporting the establishment and existence of medically supervised injecting centers follow four interweaving narratives. These narratives can be characterized as (1) Caring and humanitarian (2) Elimination of public nuisance (3) Governance of the drug-using subject (4) Neo-liberal, utilitarian, and bureaucratic. These narratives alternatively combine and oppose each other. This means that the analysis of the benefits and problems with such initiatives depends on the perspective of the actors involved and the claims made for their effectiveness.
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Field of Research
160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
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