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Intravenously (IV)

This section of the site is intended for people who are current IV users, hi advises you not to start injecting. Intravenous drug use is the most dangerous route of administration. IV is potent because the drug does not go through the liver; it is delivered directly to the blood stream. For people injecting for the first time there are many risks to consider: these are outlined in the harm reduction section. The best advice is not to start injecting.

The best advice about this route is not to start using drugs IV, if you do, never let someone else inject you, and don’t inject others.  

If you don’t know what you are doing, asking a mate who learned from another mate will not get you the best information.  Ask a nurse at the harm reduction service, its free and confidential advice.  You can also have any injuries checked there too. 

Harm Reduction Messages

Dosage:

This route of drug use will cause the user to feel a faster and more intense peak, knowing the strength of the drug used before injecting is very important.  This will certainly be the case if people on the move need to use different dealers. Smoking a little before IV is highly recommended to test the strength of the drug. 

Remember you can add more, but only Naloxone can take it away!

Skill:

This route poses additional problems in that, if the person is not skilled at venepuncture they are at risk of causing damage to their veins.  Many drug users learn from friends and bad habits spread quickly.  Poor injecting techniques will over time cause serious problems for the person, hitting arteries and blowing veins reduce the level of blood flow in the body.  The outcome for some is Gangrene, amputation and a host of infections that are treatable but will leave their mark. 
Remember, veins are as unique as fingerprints, no two people have an identical network of them, and so asking friends is not the answer.

HIV & HEP C/other infections

Additional risks for people who decide to inject include viruses some of which are curable, all of which are treatable, but with some side effects. 

Finding a vein can be difficult, for obese people and those who have small veins the challenge will be greater. 
Some people attempt to inject tablets and gel capsules e.g. temazepam, this is not recommended. Tablets are not good for the veins and gel capsules can harden in the veins, blocking them and destroying them. 

Don’t worry too much about air bubbles, try to tap them out, but don’t spend ages getting rid of one. Air bubbles can carry germs, but not as many as your mouth.  What ever you do don’t lick the needle before you inject it!

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Roweena Russell, E: roweena@hiwecanhelp.com , T: 079 57 57 6305
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