I understand the best medical practice is to throw out syringes after use. However, assuming that the main danger of reused syringes is contamination with disease from another patient, it would appear that if the syringe is used only by a single patient, he will not get any new disease even if syringe is not meaningfully sterilized. So, why don’t drug addicts just obtain their very own personal syringe that they would never share with anybody and in this way guarantee themselves from contamination by HIV, Hepatitis and other “professional” diseases of theirs? If syringes are hard to obtain legally, why don’t the same criminals that sell the drug itself also sell syringes in nice sealed packages fresh from the factory?
One reason would certainly be the possibility that the syringe needle would pick up pathogens from the environment once it had been used. You wouldn’t use a fork over and over even though no one else uses it, unless you cleaned it after every use. Maybe that’s the direction you want your question to go. Why not re-sterilizable syringes? (Homeless addicts might not benefit from this type of product, however).
I would guess that part of it is they don’t want to get caught red-handed with a dirtee rig & works, which would most likely mean an arrest and possible jail term for possession of IV drug parafphernalia.
That and I suppose for those so determined, a disposable syringe is not usually too hard to come by, if you know where to go.
They are free on the streets in some urban areas. I have seen some grotesque needle practices. Even paricipated in a few. Personally think they should be cheap and legal if not free. Like condoms.
Syringes are considered paraphernalia in many places and and drug dealers don’t pass out pipes and rolling papers.
I don’t think heroin or meth addicts spend a lot of time worrying about the negative ramifications of their behavior.
They sell different sizes of syringes and other veterinary supplies at IFA. You can pay cash and they don’t ask for any identification when you buy them. Most of the syringes cost less than a dollar each.
However, most IFA stores are located in suburbs, farm towns and away from the downtown urban areas that most people think of Junkies inhabiting.
Sex =/= drug use. Not even close.
What makes you think some of them don’t? Some do. It’s still a stupid and unsafe practice, but it’s done.
I don’t think that was the point, more like
readily available safe sex widgets=readily available safe drug widgets.
A lot of people can see the wider social benefit even if they dissaprove of the behaviour.
This. Also even if they were concerned, presumably spending large chunks of time totally out of it isn’t conducive to keeping close track of small, easily losable items.
A lot of drug use is a social thing. We like to think of users as solitary and buying their drugs and running off and going to lock the door and getting high. But that isn’t the case usually.
The same way most people would rather go out to a bar and get drunk rather than buy a bottle of wine take it home and get drunk alone.
If you have a needle and won’t share, you’re not being social. I’m not saying this is the answer but it’s a portion of it
For starters, “reusable syringes” are not very common, at least they aren’t in my particular locale, (specifically Houston, Texas) among those that inject illegal drugs. And by “reusable”, I’m assuming that you’re referring to syringes that have a replaceable needle. The great majority of I.V. (illegal) drug users (abusers?), utilize 1/2 cc or 1cc insulin syringes. Most, prefer the ones with1/2" needles, although the shorter 1/4" needles, will suffice for most “bangers”, but NOT all. (for a couple of different, physiological reasons) Technically (meaning, according to the current laws/restrictions in Texas), one must have a current and valid prescription for insulin, in order to purchase new (sterile) syringes. Certain allergy meds, are also injectable and employ a syringe that is identical (ie: syringe volume, needle length and gauge) to those used for insulin, the only difference being, that finer increments are used for the measurement of dosage/volume. (A current/valid prescription is required for those, also.)
SOME pharmacists, WILL sell new syringes without the required prescriptions.
But that varies GREATLY, for numerous, different (and sometimes, totally arbitrary) reasons.
To try and summarize: “reusable” syringes, aren’t common… hard to maintain, even if you COULD find them, (ya’ gotta be able to acquire NEW needles, for 'em)… and of course, there are the reasons given by previous posters, concerning getting busted for possessing drug paraphernalia.
The government in SOME, parts of the country, (It can vary from state to state, and even in different parts, of a particular state) WILL NOT ALLOW, users of illegal drugs,
to PURCHASE OR POSSESS, “sterile” syringes, REUSABLE or OTHERWISE!:mad:
Now then, (with all of THAT, being said!:rolleyes:) REALITY is somewhat different! :dubious: The aforementioned insulin syringes CAN be, (and generally, ARE!) reused, multiple times. They tend to become dull after being used a few times, human skin is tougher, than most people realize!:eek: I won’t go into the actual “mechanics” of getting said drugs INTO the syringe. (Which ALSO contributes greatly, in dulling the needles.)
The majority of I.V. drug users that have been “banging” for an extended length of time, try to be as safe about it as possible, concerning “sharing needles”. Granted, I AM NOT, a Doctor, Nurse, etc. Nor do I work in law enforcement or in any areas of the legal community. But, ALL of the info I have provided is “first hand, knowledge” (so to speak, ;)) which has been acquired over many (15+:eek:) years.
I apologize for being somewhat “wordy”, with this answer. It’s just that, IMHO a “simple” answer, (other than: IT IS ILLEGAL) really isn’t possible.
:smack: After proofreading all of the above, I have just realized that there IS, a “simple answer” to the OP’s question. (AND, I JUST GAVE IT!):smack:
(Damn! I feel kinda DUMB, at this particular moment, in the space/time continuum!:p)
REALLY?! “Banging” (shooting up) was never something that I would have called a “social thing”. (At least, not in my experience, nor any of the other people that I know, with experience in this sort of “activity”. And there are MORE, than a FEW.)
As in, JUST ONE!? :eek:… (it sounds like you mean, ONE … as in only 1, syringe:()
And just HOW many times do you think it is possible, to “RE USE” a syringe, sir? :dubious:
Well, you’d need a supply of sterile new needles to screw onto the syringe, which just changes the thing you need to obtain from “a syringe” to “a new needle.” You really don’t want to re-use the needle itself; my insulin-dependent cousin used to do that occasionally when she couldn’t find one of her syringes, and she told me that she could scarcely feel the needle puncture when it was a new needle because it just slid through the skin and vein like butter. But if she had to re-use, the second use of the needle was a lot more painful and difficult than the first, and the third (which she said she only ever did twice when she was desperate) was excruciating and took a lot of effort to pop through the skin and vein.
Freaky as hell, I must say…
It seems like it would require a degree of self-discipline and personal organisation that many addicts do not possess.
chorpler- I really hope your diabetic cousin isn’t injecting IV insulin…
Insulin is supposed to be injected sub cut, just beneath the skin and nowhere near a vein.
With the prevalence of insulin pen devices very few people actually NEED the old insulin syringes any more, certainly I can’t think of the last time I prescribed any in the community. The USA might be different, but almost no diabetics here have insulin vials and empty syringes- they all have pre-filled insulin pen devices.
Single use syringes are plastic and not designed to withstand repeated heat or chemical sterilisation, you might make one last 4 or 10 times, but it won’t be a long term option.
The “new” junkie alternative here are flu vax kits- 1cc syringe with needle attached. Lots of surplus ones floating about after the 2009 pandemic. You can’t replace the needle on them though and they really don’t stand up to repeated use.
I dunno, people who need to fix or face withdrawal might do better than you think.
I have found, through direct experimentation, that a single trip through a rubber stopper is enough to noticably dull a needle. I always draw up a med with an 18 ga, then put a fresh needle on before I give an injection.
An ex-user friend of mine said that the striker strip on a book of matches makes an effective needle sharpener, never tried it myself.
Huh. I don’t know how common it is, but I get my insulin in bottles and draw it up and inject it with single use syringes.
My doctor keeps wanting me to go on an insulin pump, but the idea of having a needle in my body at all times gives me the screaming heebie jeebies.
The insulin pens aren’t catching on here the way we’d hoped. People (especially older people) are having trouble with the dosing - which should be darn simple, but for some reason, many people are struggling with it. I’ve had about three dozen diabetics in clinicals (pretty much everyone in the hospital has it!) and only one of them used an insulin pen at home.
All the hospitals I’ve been at in the past 2 years (6 of them) use the vials and syringes exclusively for inpatient use, which might actually contribute to the problem. If the nurses aren’t comfortable with the pens, they’re not going to be great at teaching patients how to use them, I’m thinking.