This article draws from a social representations approach (SRA) to present a qualitative inquiry of identity construction in interaction and as part of the social context. We argue that the concept of positioning, inherent to our understanding of SRA, provides a bridge between social representations and identities. Focusing on societally marginalised groups and with illustrative interview samples gathered from two different studies in Finland, this article aims to show how people who use hard drugs position themselves within dominating social representations of ‘addict’, ‘junkie’ and ‘polydrug user’. Two ways of positioning are employed to negotiate with negative social representations: resistance and partial acceptance. ‘Distancing from the worst’ as a way of positioning characterises resistance and illustrates how a positive identity is constructed by describing the ‘ingroup other’ in negative ways, enabling justification of why the responded is not like that. In contrast, ‘facing the inescapable’ as a way of positioning illustrates partial acceptance that is engaged when people feel they cannot control their use or their lives more generally and cannot justify another position than that of a prototypical user. Our article advances the literature on the role of positioning within representational fields as enabling individuals to reject, challenge or accept the dominating social representations, while at the same time serving as a resource to cope with identity threats and maintain a positive identity.