If you miss a vein & inject heroin or cocaine directly into flesh what happens?

Still get high? Local irritation? What happens?

Yep, you still get high. It makes injection pointless, though.

Still get high and local irritation.

Subcutaneous injection is called skin-popping. (Muscle injection is called muscle-popping.) It’s used by many addicts because there is less chance of an overdose if the heroin is not injected directly into a vein, but it also isn’t as quick or powerful a rush so those with the worst addictions no longer do it.

Even so, there are lots of health risks involved:


Is cocaine injection common? I’ve never seen it described before.

Skin popping is also sometimes used by non-addicted recreational users. Mainly if they feel the rush of heroin taken IV is too intense.

IV cocaine injection is common, but much more common in conjunction with heroin as a “speedball” than by itself. The very short and frighteningly intense high associated with IV cocaine injection by itself and the need for repeated dosing causing extensive track marks makes most cocaine users to shy away. Most IV drug users will lament “missing” a shot of heroin, but will not be terribly distraught over it since they will eventually get the full effects of the dope, albeit much more slowly than they would like. However, the effects of a “missed” shot of cocaine are so slow as to usually be considered a tragic and complete waste of the drug.

Additionally, intramuscular amphetamine and cocaine carries a high risk of abcess. I just visited a client who was at the tail end of a month in the hospital because he nearly lost his arm from a necroticizing fasciitis due to a “missed” shot of amphetamine, and shall I just say hooolllleeeeey shit. You remember that scene of the guy’s infected arm in Requiem for a Dream? In comparison to the real thing, that was so tame as to be considered quaintly naive.

Hello, I know this is a really old thread, sorry, but when you search “missed iv coke shot” on Google this is number one. Anyway, I wanted to add that adding heat from a heating pad or warmed wet rag is supposed to help. When I do that it usually seems like it goes down a little easier and faster. Supposedly helps prevent abscesses too.

Adding heat causes the blood vessels in the area to dilate. That causes more blood to flow into the area which then carries the injected drug into the (rest of the) body more quickly.

Since we’re into illegal activity, let’s close this one.

samclem Moderator