Originally Posted by Hollow Hippie
Actually when performed correctly with completely sterile equipment and medical grade substance, intravenous injection
is one of the most efficient, reliable, and safest routes of administration
. There isn't anything inherent with the intravenous route making it dangerous, instead it can be made risky by (one or more of the following) lack of knowledge, incorrect procedure, unsterilized equipment, and/or impure substance.
I agree, in a sterile, properly trained, medical environment, with medical grade substances, intravenous injection is as you say, efficient, reliable, and safe. And of course, what makes it unsafe is lack of knowledge, unsterilised equipment and impure substances.
However, we are talking about IV use in the context of street heroin use
, and the resulting addiction
. And as such, unfortunately, it is impossible to separate these factors - of course, ideally we would all have access to sterile equipment, IV training, medical grade gear and free medical advice if anything goes wrong. But in reality, this is far from the case, and in all honesty, I cannot see it becoming the norm in any of our lifetimes.
Statistics from UK exchanges state that one syringe is given out for every three IV drug
injections. Even in a country where clean works are available as freely and easily as they are here, people still re-use. This figure is bound to be much, much more worrying in the US, due to the out-of-date, downright dangerous practices adopted by many states, in respect of providing IV drug users with sterile equipment.
So, as it stands, in the context of heroin use, we must be realistic about the environments, practices, equipment and impurity of heroin used by the vast majority of users. And if we are, it is impossible to come to any conclusion other than that which I stated in my previous post, with the reasons given above: In terms of routes of administration available to a heroin user, IV use is by far the most dangerous.