People who inject drugs are at high risk for a variety of infections. Certain practices can significantly reduce the risk but are unlikely to eliminate them entirely.
Ultimate goal: Cessation of substance abuse before an irreversible disorder develops.
Some infections occurring in parenteral drug users:
(2) viral hepatitis C
(3) viral hepatitis B
(4) a variety of nasty bacterial infections with cellulitis
Steps to reduce risk of infectious complications:
(1) Never reuse or share syringes, water or drug preparation equipment.
(2) Only use syringes obtained from a reliable source.
(3) Use a new, sterile syringe to prepare and inject drugs.
(4) If possible use sterile water to prepare drugs. If sterile water is not available, use clean water from a reliable source such as a fresh water tap or bottle water.
(5) Use a new or disinfected container and a new filter to prepare drugs each time.
(6) Clean the injection site with a new alcohol swab before each injection.
(7) Safely dispose of the syringe after a single use.
The container used for drug preparation ("cooker") can be disinfected in a number of ways:
(1) washing with dilute Clorox (sodium hypochlorite) solution then rinsing with clean water
(2) boiling in clean water
(3) heating in an oven (not a good idea for plastic)
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Purpose: To help a patient who injects drugs to reduce the risk of infectious complications.
Specialty: Infectious Diseases
Objective: physical and lifestyle, compliance/adherence
ICD-10: F11, F19, Z50.3,