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Intravenous injection

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Intravenous injection or IV is a route of administration in which the user injects a substance into the bloodstream. Other terms include shooting up, slamming, mainlining, and banging. Intravenous injection is the most powerful way to take many drugs. The most common drugs injected are opiates and stimulants.



Shooting up is a dangerous procedure, only advisable in the following circumstance: You have some pharmaceutical that is meant to be taken intravenously (morphine solution, often for cancer patients), you have all the sterile tools available, and a fine knowledge and expertise of shooting up and/or a doctor or nurse available to do it for you.

Intravenous injection is potentially a very dangerous procedure that can leave chunks of unwanted materials float around your veins. It is absolutely essential to throw away every needle after use and never share needles! Always be as safe as possible when shooting.

Some IV drug users say that once you have injected you will never be satisfied by other routes of administration.


If you are uncomfortable using a drug your first time, feel free to use water a few times to get used to it. Better safe than sorry. Also, you should definitely have someone with you your first couple of times in case you need to be rushed to the hospital, or if they can help you with the procedure, even better. Just remember to keep everything as clean and safe as possible.

Required materials

  • Spoon
  • Tiny flame source like a lighter or lit candle
  • Hot water, or if you have it, an ampule of bacterostatic water for injection
  • Sterile needle - 29-31 gauge is average. Generally anything under 28 is not used by regular IV users. When injecting more than 3ccs, a lower gauge needle is desirable. The higher the number, the skinnier the point, which is definitely desirable. Note that the larger the point/lower the gauge, the longer the track mark will remain. An insulin needle (30-31G) would be perfect; sterilized properly, insulin needle marks made with a fresh needle will heal in less than a day. Track marks from low gauge (22-26g) last about two days if you use Neosporin.
  • Sterile syringe barrel; 1cc is standard, but if you have more material, you may need to use a 3cc or even 5cc syringe. Syringes are sometimes reused and sterilized with rubbing alcohol in between uses, as it is far cheaper to purchase only needles rather than the syringe+needle combination, and it is far more important not to reuse needles, which dull severely after even one use- especially high gauge insulin syringes.
  • Alcohol prep pad
  • A way to filter the solution. A tiny ball of cotton half the size of your pinky nail is the standard, but a wheel filter around .22microns (the smaller number, the more is filtered) should be used if you are shooting a pill rather than something made for injection, such as heroin #4. Don't use cigarette filters, there's too much shit in them that you probably don't want passing through your blood vessels.
  • A belt, rope, tube sock, or anything else you can tie around your arm

Usual Procedure

  1. Grind your drug into as fine a powder as you possibly can, removing the coating if necessary. This is easiest with a spoon and a plate, but to each his own.
  2. Get your carefully measured drug safely into your spoon.
  3. Suck up about 50-75 units of hot (not boiling) water into your rig (needle), and carefully squirt it into your spoon.
  4. Apply your open flame to the bottom of the spoon for a few seconds. If you used a pill, this will help to separate the fillers from the drug, and in both cases (smack and pills), it will help mix the drug and the water into a solution. (CORRECTION: Heating pill solution binds the drug to the pill wax. Therefore wasting your drug.)
  5. Drop a tiny piece of cotton into the solution.
  6. Stick the point of the needle into the cotton ball, and suck up all the liquid. (Filter multiple times if your injecting a pill- it takes a couple passes to remove the binders)
  7. Take your rig, point up, and tap/flick it several times to bring ALL air bubbles to the surface (if you don't do this it can be fatal). It takes more than an entire syringe full of air to give you a heart attack.
  8. Carefully squeeze your rig until a drop of solution is produced on the tip, insuring all air is out of it.
  9. Take the belt, and secure it tightly around your upper bicep, below the shoulder, in the arm you are going to shoot into. This will help expose the veins, and you can hold the end of the belt in your mouth to release immediately after you shoot.
  10. Now it starts to get a bit tricky for newbies. Take your fully-prepped rig in one hand, and search around for a good vein. Make sure it is blue - the veins are the ones that are going bringing blood to your heart, as opposed to an artery, which takes blood away. The vein in the crook of your elbow is a favorite. If you're having trouble finding a vein, lift weights for a few minutes and make sure you're hydrated.
  11. Once you find a vein that you think is good, sterilize the area around it with an alcohol swab, for safety.
  12. Take your prepped rig, and carefully insert the needle into your chosen vein. Once you hit it, pull back on the plunger a bit. If you see blood, great! If not, try again.
  13. Gently depress the plunger until all of the contents are released directly into your bloodstream. Doing it too fast can cause damage and it hurts. Drop the belt (should be in your mouth) to let blood flow again, and remove the needle. You should clean and secure your rig and gear, and the site again, but fuck that! Lay back and prepare for your hard-earned orgasm! After the orgasm, properly dispose of the used rig in a sharps container (less than $5 at pharmacies), or just put it in a soda can.

Also, here is another guide: http://leda.lycaeum.org/index.pl?ID=11363

Reasons to IV

  • Most powerful and efficient ROA (against which all other ROAs are measured)
  • Instant or near-instant onset
  • Automatically makes you a fucking badass
  • The RUSH
  • Possible start to a high-paying career in the medical profession

Reasons not to IV

  • Infection (like endocarditis)
  • Risk of diseases such as HIV and Hep C. Note that Hep C is much more resilient outside the body than HIV, and has even been known to spread simply by sharing cooking implements (spoons, water, cottons, etc.)
  • Unsightly track marks and bruises
  • Risk of abscesses if you miss a vein
  • Negative social stigma
  • Damage to venous/arterial tissue and heart valves
  • Much harder habit to kick -- the instant gratification of the rush is too good to back away from!
  • Can't donate blood

General IV guides

  • Getting Off Right: 80 page in-depth guide on how to inject safely. Includes guides on how to inject specific substances. Brought to you by the good folks at harmreduction.org. (This is an improved version of the old 20 page guide.)

Specific IV Prep Guides

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