'It's your life!': injecting drug users, individual responsibility and hepatitis C prevention.

Research paper by Suzanne S Fraser

Indexed on: 08 Apr '04Published on: 08 Apr '04Published in: Health (London, England : 1997)


Health promotion materials on hepatitis C prevention and safe injecting enjoin injecting drug users to produce ethical selves through relatively rigid social and hygiene-related conduct. This article examines a sample of safe injecting and hepatitis C prevention health promotion materials, and interview data gathered from injecting drug users, to consider the ways in which the notion of individual responsibility functions within them. I argue that the primacy of the individual in western culture is indeed reflected in hepatitis C and safe injecting materials and, that for a range of reasons, injecting drug users also make use of notions of individual responsibility. The article concludes by considering the social and health implications of this individualist approach to injecting drug use and health promotion, and by suggesting ways in which effective materials which do not focus solely on the individual can be created.