For Advice & Information Call - 0117 987 6000

Safer Injecting

Safer Injecting Advice

 

Reducing the risks if you inject intravenously

Wash sites and hands before injecting. Use pre injecting swabs if water is not available

Lay equipment out on a clean stable surface

Use a clean needle for each injection

Use the correct size needle for each site

Never share ANY equipment – sharing puts you at risk of blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C

Rotate your sites

Inject with the flow of blood towards the heart if your are injecting  intravenously

Don’t flush (pushing the plunger in and out repeatedly) as this will cause vein damage

Mixing depressant and opiate drugs increases the risks of overdose

If injecting opiates only inject a small amount at a time to test the strength

If injecting a new powder for the first time only inject a small amount to test the strength and effect (better to inject too little than too much if it is not the desired effect)

Avoid injecting whilst alone

Learn how to inject yourself properly, don’t rely on others

Try to avoid tourniquets, to help raise veins, pump hands, circulate in windmill motion or soak in warm water

Never inject with the tourniquets on, this will put the vein under too much pressure, once needle is in the vein, release

Cocaine and crack are powerful local anaesthetics which will numb the area when injecting so can encourage ‘missing’ (injecting through the vein into the tissue around the vein which will cause problems). Better to smoke the crack and sniff cocaine

Do not use in the bath, serious danger of drowning

If epileptic use a lighter not a burner

Injecting whilst pregnant may seriously harm your unborn child

Seek medical advice straight away if you are concerned about any injecting sites, look out for lumps, bumps, swelling, painful or redness these all could be a sign of infection and lead to complications if ignored

Avoid injecting any tablets

Ask for advice at your local needle exchange

 

Reducing the risks if you injecting intra-muscularly

Wash sites and hands before injecting. Use pre injecting swabs if water is not available

Lay equipment out on a clean stable surface

Use a clean needle for each injection

Use the correct size needle for each site

Never share ANY equipment – sharing puts you at risk of blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C

Rotate your sites

Learn how to inject yourself properly, don’t rely on others

Inject at a 90 degree angle

Don’t push needle right up to the end in case it snaps off (it will be difficult to remove)

If injecting a new powder for the first time only inject a small amount to test the strength and effect (better to inject too little than too much if it is not the desired effect)

Do not use in the bath, serious danger of drowning

Seek medical advice straight away if you are concerned about any injecting sites, look out for lumps, bumps, swelling, painful or redness these all could be a sign of infection and lead to complications if ignored

Injecting whilst pregnant may seriously harm your unborn child

Ask for advice at your local needle exchange      

 

Reducing the risks if you inject subcutaneously (just below the skin)

Wash sites and hands before injecting. Use pre injecting swabs if water is not available

Lay equipment out on a clean stable surface

Use a clean needle for each injection

Use the correct size needle for each site

Never share ANY equipment – sharing puts you at risk of blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C

Rotate your sites

Learn how to inject yourself properly, don’t rely on others

If injecting a new powder for the first time only inject a small amount  to test the strength and effect (better to inject too little than too much if it is not the desired effect)

Seek medical advice straight away if you are concerned about any injecting sites, look out for lumps, bumps, swelling, painful or redness these all could be a sign of infection and lead to complications if ignored

Avoid injecting any tablets

Do not use in the bath, serious danger of drowning

Injecting whilst pregnant may seriously harm your unborn child

Ask for advice at your local needle exchange

 

Overdose Prevention

Don’t use alone

Don’t mix depressant substances

Avoid poly drug use

Smoking  instead of injecting will reduce the risk, but not remove the danger of overdose

Don’t use as much after a spell of not using as tolerance will have reduced

Take a small test dose by smoking or sniffing  before using drug intravenously

Inject half the barrel first and wait, if you feel effects strongly don’t inject the rest (little point and could kill you)

 

In the event of a suspected overdose...

DO

Try and stay calm

Check the person is conscious by gently shaking their shoulder and talking to them

Put them in the recovery position

Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance (police are no longer routinely contacted or involved but if background noise sounds chaotic it will increase the risk of police attending)

Stay with the person and check they are breathing until help arrives

If breathing becomes very shallow, or stops, start chest compressions and continue until help arrives, DO NOT LEAVE THEM

If the overdose is due to opiates, administer Naloxone (if available and as instructed)

If Naloxone is not available start chest compressions and continue until help arrives

 

DON'T

Try to wake them in any other way than gently shaking their shoulder

Inflict pain of any sort: pinching, slapping, violent shaking

Try to walk them around

Put them in a cold bath or throw cold water over them

Inject with stimulants such as crack/amphetamine in an event of an opiate overdose or opiates in the even of a stimulant overdose

Inject with water or salt water

Leave the person alone before help arrives – they could die