The lives of drug injectors are characterized by a number of personal, social and economic circumstances, which are linked to the tenets of social policy. Prior to the emergence of HIV and AIDS little research was directed towards understanding the lives and behavior of drug injectors. However, as more was learnt about the virus and the ways in which people behave, drug injectors became an important focus for research and policy making in relation to HIV and AIDS. However, there are wider life issues outside of those of HIV and AIDS that also affect drug injectors. This paper highlights some of these considerations and the value of a holistic approach to understanding drug injectors' lives in social policy; an approach that could usefully be applied to other groups of people.