Needle fictions: Medical constructions of needle fixation and the injecting drug user

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Abstract
The term `needle fixation` is increasingly used by researchers and health professionals to explain a range of drug injecting attitudes and practices. This article employs an innovative discourse analysis approach to consider this notion of needle fixation. Foucault`s theories of power, knowledge and discourse are taken up in examining a recent literature review of material considered to support the idea of needle fixation, and in conducting a secondary analysis of transcripts of interviews with people who inject methadone. Some correspondence in definitions of needle fixation was found between the literature and the interview subjects, but significant differences, both within and between literature and interviews were also observed. We argue that needle fixation can be understood as a product of discourse, and as such, as both fact and fiction. Considering that the term encompasses very different behaviours, is in some ways limiting, and has negative connotations, careful consideration should be given to it before it is accepted as a useful diagnostic and therapeutic tool.
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Fraser, Suzanne
Hopwood, Max
Treloar, Carla
Brener, Loren
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Publication Year
2004
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Journal Article
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