Experiences with compounding surveillance and social control as a barrier to safe consumption service access

Carolyn Greene, Marta Marika Urbanik, Rachel Geldart

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Barriers to accessing supervised consumption services are well documented in the literature. Police and security presence in the areas surrounding these sites are two such barriers. Yet, despite what we know about these autonomous social control actors, less is known about whether/how the convergence of actors within neighborhoods housing supervised consumption sites shapes service access. This paper examines how people who use drugs navigate police, security, and residents to access harm reduction services in Calgary, Canada. Based on qualitative interviews with persons who use drugs, our findings suggest that these public health services are undermined when police, security and area residents converge in their efforts to address social ‘disorder’. Participants reported displacement from the area surrounding these health services, resulting in greater public drug use and reduced service access. This research extends knowledge on supervised consumption site access barriers and social control of people who use drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100055
JournalSSM - Qualitative Research in Health
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2022

Keywords

  • Drugs
  • Harm reduction
  • Policing
  • Safe consumption services
  • Social control
  • Surveillance

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