Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2018

Major Department or Program



Suzanne Morrissey


The opioid epidemic is in full swing. With projections of overdose death rates worsening into the next decade, it is becoming increasingly clear that innovative strategies will be at the frontline of making positive change. The embrace of harm reduction philosophy is one of these innovative strategies with the ability to reduce rates of addiction and overdose rates through different forms of intervention. However, despite the positive impact that is evident with various harm reduction practices, “safe injection sites” have been deemed unwelcome throughout North America. This rejection is one iteration of the larger defensive tactic known as “not-in-my-backyard” (NIMBY) syndrome. This thesis seeks to explore the specific motivations behind the rejection of safe injection site implementation in Seattle, Washington. Through theoretical application, I draw conclusions that position NIMBY syndrome against safe injection sites as a result of these facilities being the nexus of unruly place and person, ultimately polluting the Seattle landscape. By more adequately understanding the divisive nature of safe injection sites, a better strategy can be implemented that both considers the oppositional point of view and optimizes the health outcomes of addicted bodies.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Opioids‚ Opioid abuse‚ Narcotics -- Overdose‚ Drug addiction‚ Injections -- Safe injection sites‚ NIMBY syndrome‚ Needle exchange programs‚ Nonprofit organizations -- Speak out Seattle‚ Social sciences‚ Seattle (Wash.)‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Anthropology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Included in

Anthropology Commons



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