Fixation and Needle Fixation
Terminology is important in psychoanalysis. The words and language used by psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic theorists to describe particular phenomena are governed by the therapeutic or interpretative context in which they are used. The word ‘projection’, for example, means one thing in the ordinary social world and quite another for the psychoanalyst, patient or theorist. The same can be said of fixation and some addiction theorists are beginning to question the use of the term needle fixation because of its implied unconscious content. This paper proposes that needle fixation can be understood and articulated as a bona-fide fixation through the use of contemporary and traditional psychoanalytic theorists. The problem of language and terminology, identified by Fraser et al., (2004) no longer applies and the term ‘needle fixation’ stands both in its psychoanalytic usage as arrested development and the contemporary reference by addicts and addiction theorists to compulsive injection as needle fixation.
Becker, H. (1963). Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York, NY: The Free Press.
Brechter, E. M. (Ed.) (1988). Licit and illicit drugs: The Consumers Union report on narcotics, stimulants, depressants, inhalants, hallucinogens, and marijuana - including caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Boston, MA: Little Brown and Company.
Freud, S., & Ferenczi, S. (1914-1919). The correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi, Volume 2. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Burroughs, W. (1953) Junkie: Confessions of an unredeemed drug addict. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
Grayerholz, J., & Silverberg A. D. (2000). Word virus: The William S. Burroughs reader. New York. Grove Press.
Byck, R. (Ed.) (1972). Cocaine papers: Sigmund Freud. New York, NY: Stonehill.
Fink, B. (1997). A clinical introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Fraser, S., Hopgood, M., Brenner, S., & Treloar C. (2004). Needle fictions: Medical constructions of needle fixation and the injecting drug user. Addiction Research and Theory, 12, 67-76.
Fraser, S., Hopgood, M., Brenner, S., & Treloar C. (2005). The power of naming: a reply to McBride and Pates. Addiction Research and Theory, 13, 403-404.
Masson, J. M. (1985) (Ed.). The complete letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess,
1887-1904. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Freud, S. (1961). Three essays on the theory of sexuality (J. Strachey Trans.). New York, NY: Basic Books. (Original work published 1905).
Freud, S. (1913). The interpretation of dream (A. A. Brill, Trans.) New York, NY: The Macmillan Company. (Original work published 1900).
Rezza, G. Dorrucci, M. Filbeck, U. Serafin, I. (1992). Estimating the trend of the epidemic of drug use in Italy. British Journal of Addiction, 87, 1643-1648.
Hopper, E. (1976). A psychoanalytical theory of drug addiction: Unconscious fantasies of homosexuality, compulsions and masturbation within the context of the
traumatogenic processes. International Journal of Pscho-Analysis, 76, 1121-1142.
Howard, J. & Borges, P. (1971) Needle sharing in the Haight: Some social and psychological functions. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, 4, 71-80.
Nyrop, K. (2003). An Ethnographic Comparison of Public Venue Drug Markets in Two Seattle Neighbourhoods. Report prepared for the Law Offices of the Public
Defender April 2003.
Page, J. B. & Smith, P. C. (1990) Venous envy: The importance of having functional veins. Journal of Drug Issues, 20, 291-308.
Khantzian, E. J., Albanese, M. J., Ruffins, S., Robins, C. E., Suh, J. (2008). Self- medication hypothesis connecting affective experience and drug choice. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 25, 518-532.
Klein, M. (1957), Envy and gratitude. A study of unconscious sources. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Lacan, J. (1992). The ethics of psychoanalysis 1959-60, Book VII. London, UK: Routledge.
Lacan, J. (2004). Ecrits (R. Grigg & B. Fink, Trans.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
Laplanche, J. & Pontalis, J. B. (1973). The language of psychoanalysis (D. Nicholson- Smith, Trans.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
Latimer, D. & Goldberg, J (1985) Flowers in the blood: A history of opium use. New York, NY: Franklin Watts.
Levine, D. J. (1994). Needle freaks: Compulsive self injection by drug users. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 131, 297-300.
Loose, R. (2002) Subject of addiction. London, UK: Karnac Books.
Manderson, D. (1995). Metamorphoses: Clashing symbols in the social construction of drugs. Journal of Drug Issues, 25, 779-816.
May, M. (1991). Observations on countertransference: Addiction and treatability. In A. Smaldino (Ed.), Psychoanalytic approaches to addiction (pp. 1-13). New York, NY: Knopf.
McBride, A., Pates R. & Arnold K. (2005). Injecting illicit drugs. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Limited.
Miller, J. (2002). Heroin addiction: The needle as transitional object. Journal of The
American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 30, 165-172.
Nyamuryekung'e K. Laukamm-Josten U. Vuylsteke B. Mbuya C. Hamelmann C. Outwater A. Steen R. Msauka A. Dallabetta G. (1997). STD services for women at truck stop in Tanzania: evaluation of acceptable approaches. East Africa Medical Journal, 74, 343-347.
Pates R., & Gray N. (2009). The development of a psychological theory of needle fixation. Journal of Substance Use, 14, 202-206.
Pates, R., & McBride, A. (2005). Needle Foucation: Deux ou trois choses que je sais de Pica Manie (with apologies to Jean Luc Godard). Addiction Research and Theory, 13, 395-402.
Ries, R., Fiellin, D, Miller S., & Saitz, R. (Eds.) (2009) Principles of Addiction. American Society of Addiction Medicine, 4, 911-924.
Rowe, J. (2009). The feel of the steel: Addressing the obsession to inject. Working Paper Series, The Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT, Melbourne.
Sue, D., Sue, D. W., & Sue, S. (2006). Understanding abnormal behaviour. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Tsai, J. (2006). From need to needle: The cult of addiction in William Burroughs’ Junky’, NTU Studies in Language and Literature, 1, 1-24.
Valentine, K., & Fraser, S. (2008). Trauma, damage and pleasure, International Journal of Drug Policy, 19, 412.
Winnicott, D. W. (1953). Transitional objects and transitional phenomena. A study of the first not-me possession. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 34, 89-97.
This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence, unless otherwise stated.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.