Torontovibe: Injecting (slamming) meth
Thinking about switching from smoking meth (Tina) to injecting it?
Feeling bummed about the fact that you shared your works?
There is a lot stigma attached to injection drugs, meth and risky behaviours. Stigma and judgement do not help - being informed and planning ahead do!
Everyone is entitled to take care of themselves whether they use drugs or not, and whether they slam or not. Learning to take care of yourself takes time and an open exchange of accurate information.
People share their works for different reasons. Perhaps they didn’t plan ahead and bring their own works. Or, they thought it would make the experience more intimate. Maybe they were already drunk or high, or just didn’t care.
A lot of us mix various substances into other substances when we party. However, when we do this, we run the risk of negative complications, such as an overdose or adverse drug interactions. Know your limits and tolerance levels to avoid overdose. If an overdose is happening, call 9-1-1.
Remember to have condoms with you to reduce the spread of HIV and other STIs. Tina often gives us “permission” to take chances we wouldn’t normally take.
There are safer ways to slam. Slamming is high risk for the transmission of HIV and other blood born infections like Hepatitis C (HCV). Injecting meth can cause serious damage to your veins and cause them to tighten, shrink or collapse. The following are some things you can do to reduce the harms if you slam meth:
- Stop the spread of HIV/HCV: Never share your works. Never lend or borrow any used injecting equipment including water, cookers, cotton, and tourniquets.
- Rotate your injecting sites – this will reduce the possibility of damage to your veins.
- Use new needles and equipment every time you inject.
- Cleaning used syringes and needles, even with bleach may not kill HIV and Hepatitis.
- Don’t inject alone. This helps avoid overdosing.
- Dispose of your used equipment carefully. Sharps containers are essential to keeping others safe.
- Don’t inject into damaged veins.
- A vein takes a couple of days to heal. Vitamin E oil or Aloe Vera can help. Drinking lots of water re-hydrates your skin and speeds up healing.
- Each time you shoot up, move one inch closer to your heart from your pervious hit or move to a different site altogether.
- Clean your injection area thoroughly with hot water and soap.
- Wipe the site with fresh alcohol pad to cut down bacteria that causes abscesses.
- You can get clean, unused works at The Works, Hassle Free Clinic, Queen West Community Health Centre and other locations in the city.
- Remember: it is safer to not inject at all. Other ways of taking meth have less risks.
- Swallowing meth in pill form / tab form is the safest route of administration.
- Have a plan to manage your come-down / crash.
For no hassle, no judgement information about safer drug use and more harm reduction resources, contact Torontovibe or call us at 416-340-8484 ext. 235.
For more info on how to stay safer with injection drug use, check out "Sharp Shooters" from CATIE