Removing part of the plunger assembly by cutting off most of the shaft and thumb rest and affixing the bulb to the end of the barrel, thereby allowing the bulb to operate the plunger by suction, also does work in many cases. Regarding route of administration, much injection drug use, but not all, is intravenous injection, whereas some is subcutaneous injection or intramuscular injection (including skin popping, which often involves a depot injection). Once the drugs are dissolved, a small syringe (usually 0.5 or 1 cc) is used to draw the solution through a filter, usually cotton from a cigarette filter or cotton swab (cotton bud). “Tuberculin” syringes and types of syringes used to inject insulin are commonly used.

For participants with prior SBI hospitalization, adaptation of safer injection practices as a result of education and past experience were reported to occur yet did not lead to prevention of future SBI in this population. This may be related to limited knowledge and omission by healthcare providers surrounding the multiple potential amplifiers of bacterial infection risk during the injection iv drug use process. Social-ecological models with respect to drug-related risk and harms emphasize the complex interplay between both behavioral and structural factors, with the need for a multi-level approach to harm reduction [31, 32]. The second generalization that can be made is that there is wide variation in the percentage of drug users that reported AIDS risk reduction in the different studies.

Damage to veins and injection site

In these instances, taking pills or liquids by mouth may not be fast enough to get these drugs into the bloodstream. IV administration, on the other hand, quickly sends a medication directly into the bloodstream. With IV administration, a thin plastic tube called an IV catheter is inserted into your vein. The catheter allows your healthcare professional to give you multiple safe doses of medication without needing to poke you with a needle each time. Many of the substances that require intramuscular injection come pre-prepared in liquid form. To prevent contaminating your entire supply (especially if you’re sharing it with someone else), be sure to use only a sterile needle and syringe when drawing the liquid up from the bottle in which it’s stored.

Alcohol pads work well for this purpose, but be sure to wipe in only one direction and not in a circular motion which will cause the dirt and germs to stay on your skin. Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or plain old soap and water or any other type of cleaning agent or disinfectant also work fine. Be sure not to touch the injection site with your fingers after you’ve cleaned it.

Individualized, evidence based treatment, to fit your needs.

HCV infection is 10 times more contagious than HIV, making it a greater concern for people who may be exposed to it. People who get hepatitis C from using drugs have almost always used a needle or medical equipment that has been used by another person. Participants reported storing cottons wet for a prolonged time in drug dilution from previous injections for a “cotton shot” when they did not have access to drugs. Cotton shots, when not shared, are perceived by participants as a safe last resort source for drugs, unaware that warm, moist environments facilitate bacterial growth.

  • Research has shown that bacterial and fungal infections are increasing among people who inject drugs.
  • Some injectors like to do this several times, ostensibly to rinse out any drug solution that remains in the syringe.
  • Proper circulation is necessary to the body’s ability to heal a wound, such as an injection wound.
  • Several preventive measures were implemented such as risk
    reduction programs, condom distribution, and needle exchange programs.
  • Understanding blood-borne viral transmission risk was also reinforced as a result of participants’ lived experiences, which subsequently would lead to avoidance of needle sharing practices.

Regardless of the method or combination of methods used, the estimation process will continue to rest more on judgment than on formal statistical inference. Water is used to rinse out syringes and needles before they are reused—not necessarily to decontaminate the equipment but to prevent clotting and therefore unusable works. If there is no effective decontamination step (e.g., multiple rinses with a bleach solution), the use or reuse of a common rinse water supply can be a source of contamination. In fact, we recommend that you not touch the items inside of the kit for any reason unless you absolutely have to.

Side effects

This section of the manual presents information on proper injection technique (intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injection). As noted earlier, there is an important exception to the lack of risk reduction in sexual behavior. Prostitutes have shown a willingness to use condoms with clients, although they report safer sexual practices less often in the context of personal relationships. Decontamination—by bleach, alcohol, liquid dish detergent, or hydrogen peroxide—is more likely to be effective if the syringe is flushed to at least the highest level reached by the infected user’s injection. Bleach, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide have been shown to inactivate the virus in vitro (Resnick et al., 1986; Flynn et al., 1988b).