Article

Privacy and stigma in the pharmacy: Illicit drug users' perspectives and implications for pharmacy practice

Citation

Matheson C (1998) Privacy and stigma in the pharmacy: Illicit drug users' perspectives and implications for pharmacy practice. Pharmaceutical Journal, 260 (6992), pp. 639-641.

Abstract
AIM: To gain in depth information on illicit drug users' views and experiences of the level of privacy in community pharmacies. DESIGN: A qualitative study design using semi-structured interviews. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: 124 illicit drug users currently using a community pharmacy or a drug agency in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow and their surrounding rural areas. OUTCOME MEASURES: Drug users' views and perceptions. RESULTS: Drug users have views on the degree of acceptability of drug using behaviour which is inevitably linked to their own behaviour and self image. Using a pharmacy has labelled them as drug users and some feel it has labelled them as 'junkies' which, in their view, is the worst type of drug user. These feelings of stigmatisation were closely linked to the level of privacy in a pharmacy. Lack of privacy was a particular problem for those who had to consume methadone in the pharmacy and discretion by the pharmacist was appreciated. There were mixed views about whether a designated private area was the ideal solution. CONCLUSIONS: Current pharmacy practice should be considered in light of the drug user's perspective and, where practically possible, appropriate changes in practice made. This will reduce stigmatisation and thus promote a more harmonious working relationship between drug users and pharmacists.

Journal
Pharmaceutical Journal: Volume 260, Issue 6992

StatusPublished
Publication date31/05/1998
PublisherRoyal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
ISSN0031-6873