Community Perceptions of Mainline Needle Exchange: A Qualitative Study
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Community resistance to syringe exchange programs (SEPs) across Canada and the United States and severely limits the efficacy of SEPs as a harm reduction strategy. Based on interviews with residents and community leaders in North End Halifax, this case study explores community perceptions of a local needle exchange in a gentrifying neighbourhood in Atlantic Canada. “Not in my back yard”, or NIMBY, sentiments, moral discourse, and stigmatization informed analysis. This article suggests that loitering is perceived to be one key issue related to the presence of Mainline Needle Exchange in the North End Halifax community. Stigma manifested subtly in this case study, primarily though othering language, which was employed even by some participants who expressed their support for Mainline. Ultimately, participants worked to show their support for Mainline and discussed resistance to Mainline either as something other people express or as an issue that could arise as the process of gentrification continues in the North End.