Tips and Common Pitfalls

NEVER Lick Your Needles
No matter how many times you brush your teeth your mouth is full of bacteria. Licking your needle gets that bacteria on the needle and then injecting it gets it into your skin and/or blood which can lead to severe infections.

AVOID Sharing
Risks of getting infections from others aren’t just from sharing needles. Sharing syringes, filters, cookers, and even the same water source (e.g. placing a syringe into a shared bottle of water) can lead to infections too. Ideally, if injecting with other people, everyone should have their own works.

AVOID Rolling a Cotton Ball Filter in Between Your Fingers
This can transfer unnecessary bacteria from your hands to the cotton ball and into your drug.

Take Care of Your Veins
Keeping your veins healthy keeps you healthy. Stay hydrated with water before injecting to make veins easier to identify. Rotate injection sites to give veins a break and prevent scarring. Clean your injection site before injecting to prevent infections and put pressure on the site after injecting.

Sharing Drugs

From Common Cooker

If the drug is being shared from a common cooker, it is important that everyone is using a sterile syringe and needle. In addition, there should not be unused drugs returned back to the common cooker as it can increase the risk of infection for everyone who is drawing up substances from that common cooker.


Drugs squirted from needle of one syringe into tip of another syringe. There is a risk of spreading blood borne viruses like Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV if used equipment is involved.


Plunger removed from the receiving syringe. Drugs squirted from one syringe to the back of another. This method is required if the syringe receiving the drug has a fixed needle. There is a risk of spreading blood borne viruses like Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV and of contamination of the plunger.