Cover: Syringe Exchange as a Social Movement

Syringe Exchange as a Social Movement

A Case Study of Harm Reduction in Oakland, California

Published In: Substance Use and Misuse, v. 33, no. 5, 1998, p. 1147-1174

Posted on rand.org 1998

by Ricky N. Bluthenthal

The federal ban on funding for syringe exchang programs (SEPs) has greatly hampered attempts to prevent the spread of HIV among injection drug users in the United States. State laws prohibiting the possession and/or distribution of syringes have made SEPs illegal. These factors have lent a unique social movement quality to harm reduction efforts n the United States. Using a social movement perspective, this paper explores dynamics of the implementation and defense of the syringe exchange program in Oaklinad California. The advantages and disadvantages of the social movement aspects of harm reduction are discussed.

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.