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Injecting Heroin

Injecting Heroin is like a ritual for the user. Once the Heroin is purchased the preparation starts. Firstly everything will be put out on display and placed in order. The kit includes, Heroin, syringe with needle, spoon, lighter or candle, cigarette filter, belt, citric acid and water. The Heroin is put onto the spoon with citric acid, the right amount of water will then be mixed with the Heroin and citric acid, (the citric acid is used to breakdown the Heroin so it can be injected). At the same time the spoon is held over the heat source so all the three substances are mixed together. Once mixed, a cigarette filter will be placed onto the spoon, the solution will then be drawn up the syringe through the filter, this is to filter out any impurities. It is now ready to be injected into a vein usually in the arm. The belt or similar implement such as a shoe lace is tied tightly around the arm to stop the blood flow, this will cause the veins to stand out for easier injection. After long periods of use the veins will become damaged and other areas of the body are used for injecting into. Other places used are in the groin area, behind the knees or in serious cases in the neck. It has been know for addicts veins to collapse.

The myth that Injecting heroin is more economical than administering it in other ways may be true, but the consequences are much more severe. Injecting heroin gives a rush and provides, in colloquial terms, a 'bigger bang for the buck' than smoking or snorting the drug. However, injecting heroin results in higher levels of dependence on the drug. Injectors use more often and quickly develop a tolerance to heroin. Many people have to use more of the drug and use it more often. So, while injecting may give a bigger short term effect, it costs substantially more financially and healthwise in the long term.

    Paraphernalia used for injecting heroin
  • Alcohol swabs which are available in a box of about 100 for $2 at any supermarket.
  • A syringe - also known as "works". Many times found taken from doctors offices or hospitals.
  • The bottom of a soda can can, used as a "spoon" to dissolve the heroin in. The bottom is torn off of a can as close to the bottom as possible. Or a regular spoon is used.
    How injecting heroin is done
  • The "spoon" is thoroughly cleaned with an alcohol swab. In this example black tar heroin is used. It has no smell except for a faint smell of vinegar. It comes wrapped in plastic inside a tiny balloon. A chunk is placed in the spoon.
  • The syringe is used to suck up about 50-75 units of water and squirt it into the spoon. The spoon is then heated from the bottom with a lighter to make it dissolve.
  • A piece of cotton is rolled into a ball a little bigger than a tic-tac. The cotton is dropped into the heroin and it puffs up like a sponge. The tip of the syringe is pushed into the center of the cotton and the plunger is slowly pulled back until all of the heroin is sucked in. This cotton is necessary to filter out any particles, germs and such in the heroin solution before injecting.
  • The area on the body chosen for injection is thoroughly cleaned with an alcohol swab. The area on the bend of the arm is commonly used because it's so darned easy to get the needle into the vein properly.
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