As you’ll know if you’ve spent any time either working in a needle programme or injecting there are many different kinds of needle available.
The assumption is normally that the needle you’ve used in the past is always the best one for the job and most NSP workers will just go along with this, but at the end of the day not all needles are equal. This article will compare some of the main equipment you can get.
Every needle programme worker and every injector comes across them at some point, a needle that is either blunt or barbed before it’s even used.
But what should you do about it?
In a previous article I spoke about the differences between 'bad' acids like lemon juice and good commercially available acids.
In this short article I'm going to explain the differences between the two main acids available in needle exchanges to injectors, and what advice we should be giving people who are using them.
I can't understand why it's taken me so long to get around to a piece on swabbing? Whenever I move jobs to a new exchange, or if I'm seeing an injector I've never worked with before then swabbing is normally the first bit of advice I give.
Mainly I do it as a trust builder, if someone's never met me before then they have no frame of reference on my abilities or knowledge. Plus it seems that anywhere I go, even though this is the most basic of the harm reduction messages I use, that no one seems to have been giving it.
Not all acids are created equal, but they do all have risks.
'Brown' heroin (ie Afgan heroin sold in europe) and crack cocaine both require the user to 'cook down' thier drug with an acidifier if they are going to be injected. But which are the best options and what's the advice that we should be giving along with them?
This is the first of two articles looking at some of the issues around providing acids to injecting drug users.