Taking ControlMainlining (Intravenous Injection)Hierarchy of safety for picking Intravenous Injection SitesVeins vs. ArteriesVeins vs. NervesExercises for improving Vein VisibilitySome Tips for “Getting Veins Up”Muscle-Popping (Intramuscular Injection)Skin-Popping (Subcutaneous Injection)

This section of the manual presents info on suitable injection technique (intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injection).

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As crucial as preparing your drugs together cleanly as possible is injecting them together safely and also as carefully as possible.

This section of the hand-operated presents details on proper injection method (intravenous, intramuscular, and also subcutaneous injection). In enhancement to mastering proper injection technique, folks who inject intravenously regularly must also be sure to practice an excellent vein care, and also everyone that injects have to be aware of the assorted things they deserve to do—like rotating injection sites—that will help them prevent infection and maintain great health.



It is extremely necessary for civilization who inject regularly —particularly those who room physically dependent—to be able to prepare and safely inject drugs on your own. World may take advantage of you as soon as they know that you rely on them for obtaining off. You deserve to have regulate over her body and also what you have to do because that yourself! Learn just how to safely and properly inject yourself!


Learning just how to inject properly, like mastering any other facility activity, bring away practice. ~ a while, you will certainly no doubt have the ability to hit veins you’ve never used prior to on the very first try, causing minimal trauma to the injection site and leaving a tiny puncture wound the barely bleeds. Girlfriend will develop ‘a feel’ for where your veins are and also how you should position and insert her needle in stimulate to gain a good hit.

Perhaps the safest way to learn just how to inject is to have actually someone who knows what they’re law teach you. An competent injector have the right to walk you with the procedure of injecting, or possibly even show it, and also prevent friend from making any kind of dangerous mistakes. If possible, find someone who you to trust to mentor you with this process. And also talk with various other injectors around the assorted tips and wisdom about injecting they’ve picked up end the years.


Hopefully, there space things in this manual that will be brand-new and advantageous even come those of united state who have actually been injecting because that a long time. However, reading about how come inject and also actually act it are two various things. If friend are new to injecting, we deserve to only caution you to read this manual thoroughly prior to you begin and also to go slow and also be aware of everything you’re doing. If the danger of injecting drugs appears too dangerous after you’ve check out this booklet, deciding not to provide drugs via injection is a injury reduction an answer that we whole-heartedly support.



Intravenous injection (mainlining), or injecting a substance straight into the bloodstream v a vein, is just one of the fastest means to deliver a drug right into your system. That is likewise the riskiest technique to use in regards to overdose (as compared to sniffing, smoking, or oral administration) since the entire dose start the body as whole and an extremely quickly. Injecting intravenously usually offers the user a “rush” that many human being report come be exceptionally pleasurable, a sensation the does not happen with intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. While each injection method carries its very own risks, mainlining is maybe the riskiest due to the fact that it creates a direct opening in between the bloodstream and also the exterior world. Heroin, cocaine, and also amphetamine are three drugs that are commonly administered intravenously.



People who inject drugs often have one or 2 favorite places to inject—sites the feel the many comfortable, are easy to access, and where you almost always obtain a clean struggle on your an initial try. When it might seem awkward at first, that is important to learn just how to inject in other areas that may not seem as comfortable or accessible on your first pair of tries. If you store injecting in your favorite clues over and also over there is no letting the veins repair themselves castle will become leaky, making her shot less satisfying and also harder to hit; could come to be seriously infected; and will ultimately collapse or scar so badly that they end up being altogether unusable and interfere v circulation. So, it is an extremely important to revolve the website you use to inject. Shot to usage a new site because that each brand-new injection and also go back to sites you’ve currently used just after they’ve had actually time to rest and also repair themselves.


In addition to discovering to inject in new places, the is additionally important come learn just how to inject v either hand so the if the veins ~ above one side of her body require a remainder or space otherwise unusable, you’re able to inject into the veins top top the other side of your body—even if you must use her non-dominant hand to perform it. The next time you’re in withdrawal and also really need to gain off but can’t find a vein in your usual spot, you’ll be thankful you taught yourself how to inject right into the other arm!



Any time friend inject intravenously, you threat pushing bacteria, fungi, and any other infection-causing microbes that are on her skin straight into her bloodstream. The is thus extremely essential to thoroughly clean your injection website prior to getting off. Alcohol pads work-related well because that this purpose, however be sure to wipe in just one direction and not in a circular movement which will cause the dirt and germs to remain on her skin. Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or plain old soap and also water or any other form of clean agent or disinfectant additionally work fine. Be sure not come touch the injection site with her fingers after did you do it cleaned it. Routinely cleaning the skin before injection is among the most essential things you can do to reduce your hazard of endocarditis, blood poisoning, and similar infections (discussed in thing 3).



Use gravity to bring blood to the body you’re walk to usage to inject before using your tourniquet (tie): totter or hang your arms, make a fist, etc. Tie her tourniquet in such a method that it deserve to be conveniently removed if necessary. Try to secure ‘rolling’ veins prefer those in her forearms prior to you inject right into them. Finally, be sure not to leaving the tourniquet on for too long. If friend feel her limb becoming numb or notice it turning blue, undo your tourniquet and also don’t retie it until you’re prepared to inject.



Insert the needle right into your vein v the needle bevel (opening) dealing with up, in ~ a 15 come 35 level angle, and always in the direction of the heart. The much more perpendicular the needle is to the injection site, the greater chance you have of sticking the needle through the vein rather of into it. (See illustration on complying with page.)




Once friend think she in a vein, pull the plunger ago to view if blood comes into the syringe. If so, and also the blood is dark red and also slow moving, you know that did you do it hit a vein. You deserve to now untie your tourniquet and also proceed come inject your drugs. If no blood or only a very tiny quantity of blood comes into the syringe once you traction back, you’re not in a vein and also will need to untie your tourniquet, pull her needle out, and shot again. If you proceed to inject without being effectively positioned in a vein, you will do it be placing your drugs into the tissue bordering the vein, under the skin, or some various other place. It will more than likely be painful and become swollen, and the impacts of your drugs will certainly come on much an ext slowly. You likewise risk abscess formation and other possible problems.

If there’s too much blood in your shot come tell if you’re correctly registering, split the shot right into two and also dilute each half with water. If the plunger of your syringe is forced earlier by the push of the blood and it is shining red, frothy, and ‘gushing,’ girlfriend may have hit an artery. Stay calm and also slowly draw the syringe out and also elevate the limb. 

Some world like to ‘boot’ their syringe ~ they’ve injected your drugs—that is, pull earlier the plunger, attract blood into the syringe, and re-inject it. Some injectors like to perform this several times, ostensibly to rinse out any type of drug solution that stays in the syringe. Due to the fact that of every the blood involved, you might want to stop from booting if you recognize you’re walking to be cleaning her needle and syringe and enabling someone rather to usage it. Be sure to extensively flush your needle and syringe through water ~ booting if you setup to re-use it at a later on time, so that blood no clog the needle.



After you’ve properly injected your drugs, very closely pull the needle out of the injection website at the same angle in ~ which that went in. (To minimize bruising, girlfriend should have untied her tourniquet before you injected her shot.) use pressure to the injection website to stop any bleeding. If you’re acquiring off in a public place, the is a good idea to have some tissue, gauze, or Band-Aids about so friend don’t acquire blood everywhere your clothes. Don’t usage alcohol pads top top a fresh injection wound: alcohol will reason it to bleed more, not less.



Don’t use creams, salves or oil you use to treat your track clues or bruising until the injection wound has started to near (a pair of hrs after injecting) otherwise you might reason an infection. Law missed shots (those that ended up somewhere other than in her vein) automatically with a warm water soak or compress to alleviate the likelihood the irritation and abscess formation. Warm will open up the capillaries and bring disease-fighting white blood cell to the affected area.



Cocaine has actually a numbing result on the veins and causes them to constrict (shrink), for this reason if you’re shoot coke, you should be extra mindful to register properly and also make sure you’re in a vein before you inject her drugs. Also, chances are that if you’re shoot coke, you’ll be injecting countless times in a short period of time v perhaps just several minutes in between each injection. This deserve to be traumatic on the veins and also the neighboring tissues, and an outcome in a most bleeding.

Try to use a sterile, spicy needle for each injection;make sure you keep your injection equipment separate native anyone else’s you’re obtaining off with;and shot to give the area a great rest because that a couple of days.

You may experience part pain and swelling ~ such extreme activity.



Because crack come in a solid form (rock), it is essential to dissolve it first. The safest method to perform this is v powdered citric or ascorbic acid–ask your regional syring business program or health and wellness food store where to uncover it. Protect against lemon juice or vinegar, together these can lead to major infections.

To dissolve crack: placed crack and also citric or ascorbic mountain (about a pinch come a slab) in the cooker; include plenty of water; mash and also mix well. Try to just use as much acid together you need, due to the fact that extra will certainly dissolve your drugs, and also acid have the right to be really hard on her veins.



Because rate is often reduced with such dangerous chemicals, it is really important no to miss out on your shot. Skin-popping speed can be an extremely painful, may cause an abscess, and also will take it a long time because that the body to absorb. If you acquire the shakes ~ doing a few shots, it may be valuable to have a friend inject you if you space not utilizing alone. Due to the fact that the top quality of speed varies therefore dramatically, a tester shoot is a good idea.



for selecting Intravenous Injection Sites 

The adhering to is a break down of feasible intravenous injection sites, beginning with the safest alternatives and relocating toward the least safe ones.

ARMS: Arms, first upper then lower, room the the safest sites for injecting. You need to be careful to secure the ‘rolling’ veins in the forearms prior to you inject right into them. Arms space also great if you concerned around hiding her injection or monitor marks (although wearing lengthy sleeves in the summer have the right to be a drag!).

HANDS: Hands space somewhat less safe 보다 arms since the veins are substantially smaller and more delicate and therefore more likely to bruise or end up being damaged. Circulation is additionally slower in the hands, resulting in healing to take longer. If you’re getting off in her hands, be sure to use the thinnest needle feasible (highest gauge) or, if friend can discover one, a butterfly needle. Be vigilant around rotating the sites, and also keep in mind the it is challenging to conceal injection marks and bruises on the hands.

LEGS: Circulation in the legs might be poor, specifically in civilization who don’t usage theirs a lot. Veins in the legs are much more likely 보다 those in the eight to build clots that deserve to obstruct circulation and also eventually rest off and lodge in the lung or heart. Also, damaging the valves in the foot veins is an ext serious 보다 damaging those in the arms due to the fact that they beat a greater role in obtaining blood ago to the heart.

FEET: similar to the hands, the veins in the feet are normally smaller 보다 in other parts the the body, and close come nerves, cartilage, and also tendons which you want to avoid hitting as soon as you inject. Because they space farther native the heart 보다 the veins in the hands, arms, and legs, blood circulates an ext slowly in the foot veins and also they thus require an ext time because that healing and repair. In addition, foot sweat and also dirty socks act to avoid wounds from healing and increase the possibility of epidemic from bacteria.

GROIN: The femoral vein in the groin area is a huge and relatively easy vein come access, but its place near the femoral nerve and also the femoral artery do it fairly a risky ar to inject. Among the three, the femoral vein is located closest come the groin, through the artery and also then the nerve located as you move outward. If she going to inject into the femoral vein, first locate her femoral artery— where you carry out not want to inject—by finding the pulse. Then relocate a quick distance towards the inside of her leg to discover the femoral vein. Due to the fact that it lies relatively deep, friend will probably not have the ability to see it however will need to inject right into it there is no seeing whereby the vein is.

NECK : The jugular vein in the neck is the riskiest place to inject since it lies very close come the carotid artery, a significant blood vessel the brings blood directly to the brain. By chance hitting the carotid artery might be fatal, and also damaging the jugular vein in any method can interfere v blood circulation come the brain.




(Numbered in order of safety) 




Know where You’re Hitting


 MORE tips FOR selecting AN appropriate INJECTION SITE 

Taking proper care the the veins in her arms and other safer areas will avoid you from having to shoot increase in much more dangerous ones.You should avoid using veins that room tender, hardened, or inflamed till (and if) they heal. Heat compresses and also the usage of proper creams can help speed the heal process.The bigger and much more visible the vein, the easier and safer it typically is come hit. Deep veins space harder come hit, and also trying to accessibility them increases your possibility of hitting a nerve or artery in the process. ~ above the various other hand, it may be challenging to store a needle properly positioned in a really shallow vein, causing you to accidentally skin-pop your hit.Areas that are farthest indigenous the heart, favor the hands and feet, cure the slowest and also have the poorest circulation. Areas nearest to the love (like the groin and also the neck) have veins that are located near significant arteries and also nerves which, if coincidentally hit, can reason serious, life-threatening damage.Injecting near a bone rises the chances that swelling and pain will occur.



You constantly want come inject into a vein and also never right into an artery. Veins are blood ship that bring blood from the extremities of the body ago to the heart and lungs where it becomes re-oxygenated. Veins have no pulse, and also the blood they bring is a deep, dark red because it is short in oxygen. Arteries carry blood well-off in oxygen native the lungs and also heart to every the various other parts of the body. Arteries have a pulse, and the blood in castle is bright red and also frothy. Arteries are situated deeper in the body than veins and also so are not clearly shows as many of her veins are.


You’ll recognize you fight an artery if: 

The plunger of your syringe is forced ago by the pressure of the blood.When you register, the blood in her syringe is bright red and also ‘gushing.’ Blood in veins is dark red, slow-moving, and “lazy.”It hurts in different way from her usual injections

You deserve to avoid hitting one artery by:

Never injecting whereby you feeling a pulse.Injecting only right into surface veins and not trying to hit those the lie deeper.

What to execute if girlfriend hit one artery: 

Untie your tourniquet and also pull her needle out immediately.Raise the limb over your head to prevent the bleeding, if possible.Apply firm press to the wound for at least 10 minutes.If bleeding continues, use a bandage or cloth wrapped an extremely tightly roughly the wound and seek clinical attention immediately. The loss of blood native hitting one artery can be life-threatening if it’s no stopped.


Veins vs. Nerves 

Unlike some veins, nerves space not clearly shows from external the body, although you will definitely know if you’ve hit one if injecting because you’ll experience extreme pain and also no blood will get in the syringe as soon as you pull earlier to register. You might feel an electric “burn” along your limb.

 Hitting a nerve can be really dangerous and an outcome in paralysis or the ns of a limb. It’s a great idea to know where your major nerves room so the you can avoid castle when obtaining off.


Exercises for boosting Vein Visibility

If she the strong type, engaging in the following activities can assist make your veins much more visible from exterior the body.

Push-ups, pull-ups, and other exercises that strengthen the armsWeight-lifting, particularly bicep exercisesSqueezing tennis ballsWrist curls


Some tips because that “Getting Veins Up” 

If you’re having difficulty locating a vein to inject into, you could want shot one the the following:

Put a warm compress on her injection site for five or ten minutes to aid bring a vein come the surface. As soon as you’re cold, it have the right to be very challenging to accessibility a vein. (If you’re gaining off in a toilet or somewhere else where there’s no a the majority of heat, nothing unroll your sleeve or uncover her injection website until you’re ready to inject.)Lower her arms listed below your love or swing castle in a circle.Lightly slap the injection site.Wrap her limb in Saran Wrap because that a few minutes. This catch the heat and also causes veins to increase to the surface.Caffeine and also nicotine have the right to both constrict veins. Shot injecting prior to you’ve had your first cup of coffee and/or cigarette. If girlfriend have had actually a cup that coffee or a cigarette, wait around 30 minute to shot injecting again.Remain calm. It can be exceptionally frustrating come be can not to get a hit, particularly if she in withdrawal. Opportunities are obtaining upset will certainly only increase your difficulty, so take a few deep breaths and start end again in a calmer state the mind.



Some drugs, consisting of injectable steroids and hormones, need to be injected right into a muscle instead of a vein, however heroin and also other opiates can additionally be administered utilizing this method. The physical and psychoactive impacts that an outcome from one intramuscular injection of a medicine come on much an ext slowly than those of an intravenous injection (half one hour come forty-five minute versus practically immediately), back the overall, accumulation intensity the the effects and also the experience are virtually identical. Also, the “rush” the is produced when drugs prefer heroin room administered intravenously is not knowledgeable by people who inject intramuscularly.

Most if not every one of the epidemic control and other security precautions intravenous medicine injectors should follow also apply to individuals who inject medicine intramuscularly. Muscle-popping to produce much less bleeding than intravenous injection, if any kind of at all, however the danger of transmitting viruses and also other blood-borne bacteria as a an outcome of needle-sharing is as significant as the is through intravenous injection. In addition, muscle-poppers space at high threat for abscess formation, specifically if what lock inject has any kind of particles in that whatsoever. As soon as muscle-popping, it is extremely crucial to inject only a systems that is together particle-free as possible.

Many that the building materials that require intramuscular injection come pre-prepared in fluid form. To protect against contaminating your whole supply (especially if you’re sharing it through someone else), be sure to use only a sterile needle and also syringe when illustration the fluid up indigenous the bottle in which that stored. Muscling rate or cocaine is very painful and dangerous, and also is most likely to reason an abscess.



The buttocks, thighs, and upper arms room the three ideal sites, respectively, for intramuscular injection. The finest is in the deltoid, the muscle on her upper, outer arm whereby your shoulder and also your eight meet. If injecting right into the butt, mentally divide each cheek into four equal sections and inject into the peak right or peak left external section of every cheek. Girlfriend can also use the front surface of your thighs about six inches over your knee to about six inches below your hip, or the external surfaces of your upper arms between your shoulder and your elbow. Always be careful to stop nerves, blood vessels, or bones, and rotate injection website to avoid bruising, abscess formation, and the like. It is not uncommon for your muscle to be sore for a couple of days ~ an injection. 


Be sure to very closely clean the injection site before injecting (see ‘Mainlining’ section over for an ext detail).



Try come relax the muscle prior to injection. This will result in a less painful injection and may protect against the soreness you typically feel the following day or two. As soon as injecting right into a muscle, insert the needle in one fast stab straight right into the injection website at a 90° angle to the body. Nearly the whole needle should enter the muscle. You absolutely want to attract your plunger earlier slightly come make sure no blood comes into the syringe. If blood does appear, did you do it hit a blood vessel and also need come pull out and try again. Inject her substance slowly.



Pull your needle the end in the exact same direction and angle in ~ which you put it. Since you injected into a muscle, there have to be small if any kind of bleeding. You might want to apply a Band-Aid in any kind of case to prevent infection. Massaging the area lightly for a few minutes will aid the drug absorb and also reduce the pain. 


Hormones are to it is in injected only into the thigh or buttock muscle. Once injecting, be mindful of nerves, veins, and also bones. The buttock is the most typical place civilization inject. You have the right to switch buttock cheeks to avoid bruises and also sores. After girlfriend inject right into these muscles, you could be sore for a work or two.

Do not inject much more than the prescribed amount; it will not rate up your therapy process. Friend can cause serious liver damage and increase the hazard of blood clots. Blood clots can show up in the veins of the legs and also can take trip to the lungs; this is referred to as Pulmonary Embolism, which can be fatal. Human being who smoke cigarettes and inject hormone are more likely to develop Pulmonary Embolism. (This section taken from Positive wellness Project’s “Safety Guidelines because that Injecting Hormones.”)


 S K ns N – ns O p P i N G ( S U B C U T A N E O U S ns N J E C T ns O N ) 


Skin-popping is the injection of drugs between the body skin and fat layers. Like muscle-popping, the results of her drug will certainly come top top much more slowly 보다 if you’d injected that intravenously, and also you will certainly not suffer a “rush.”

Skin-poppers have to follow every one of the epidemic control and also other security precautions the intravenous and intramuscular injectors need to follow. Although favor with muscle-popping, skin-popping results in tiny or no bleeding in ~ the site of the injection, the threat for bacterial or viral epidemic is real if injection tools is shared or drugs are not prepared and also injected hygienically. Also, skin-poppers room at significantly increased threat for abscesses, particularly if injecting crushed pills or an additional solution with particles in it. Once skin-popping, the is an important to use only a equipment that is together particle-free together possible.



The upper and also lower arms and legs are most likely the ideal locations because that skin-popping.



As always, completely clean the injection site with alcohol, soap and also water, or other disinfectant before injection. 


Slide the needle under your skin in ~ a shallow angle, 15° come 45° at the most. Inject no more than 1⁄2 cc of fluid (half that the volume that a 1 cc syringe) to form a small bubble under the skin. If her hit is much more than 1⁄2 cc, inject right into two or much more sites. The bump from the equipment you injected will gradually decrease together the fluid is absorbed into the body, and should disappear completely within a few hours. Skin-popping have the right to be uncomfortable, and also the bang you develop may pains a bit. If girlfriend skin pop where the skin is loose, pinch the skin between your thumb and also forefinger and also put the needle right into the skin you’ve pulled up.

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Pull her needle the end in the very same direction together it go in. There must not be lot bleeding in ~ the injection site when skin-popping, however you might want to use a Band-Aid to stop infection.