Filed under: JUNKe life
Size matters? Yep, it sure does when it comes to choosing the right sized syringe and needle for the job at hand.
For years the standard needle given out by needle exchange programs was the 1cc Insulin syringe, 28 gauge, 1/2 point. Basically that is a good all-around needle. But it actually is more large than needed for a lot of substances, particularly heroin or cocaine. 1cc or 100 units is required when one is cooking up a gunky morphine pill where you want to get as much water mixed in to make a substance which is diluted enough to actually push through a syringe. In fact, 100 units is just barely enough.
But for coke or heroin, which dissolve easily and clearly in just a little bit of water, the optimum is to use as little water as possible. Optimum because a lot of water isn’t required to dilute it, and because you want to have the liquid as strong as can be. A bunch of extra water just makes it less strong per unit. So, most people doing coke or heroin only use about 30 units of water, and therefore there are 70 units of the syringe which goes empty. That just means the syringe is unnecessarily large, which is a complaint of many cokers, particular some women who complain that the syringe is too big for their hand and hard to manipulate.
As a result, a lot of needle exchanges started handing out the 1/2 cc insulin syringes with the 28 gauge, 1/2 inch needle. Those a perfect for heroin or coke.
But what about the opiate users who are doing pharmaceuticals? And there’s a hell of a lot of us. Some of the pills we cook up need a lot of water to break down the pill component, and mix it up so that there is a shootable liquid. When using the standard 100mg MS Contin (i.e 1/10 of a gram of morphine) a 100 cc syringe is fine – commonly referred to as a gray.. One adds about 130 cc of water into the spoon with the crushed pill, and it cooks back to about 100 cc of liquid to shoot.
However, there’s a lot of us for whom a single 100mg pill is inadequate. It just isn’t a big enough dose to fulfill the amount of opiate we’re dependent upon. So we need to cook up two or three pills at a time. Or we might only be able to get the oranges (the 60mg size morphine pill). We need to do two of them just to get 120mg. Or four of them to equal two grays. Now we’re getting a whole lot of crushed up pill in a spoon, and it takes a lot of water to dilute it down to a liquid which isn’t just pure thick gunk.
This is where a bigger syringe really fits the bill. Basically the 3cc syringe. With a 3cc one can use 400 units of water to cook up a bunch of pills and get back 250-300 units of good liquid for injection.
Up until a while ago, it was rare to find the 3cc syringe without a big, nasty needle on it. Something in the 22 gauge range which causes quite the hole when it goes it. Its weird, but the smaller the gauge, the larger the diameter of the needle. So the 28 gauge is a pretty thin needle. And recently, companies are putting out even thinner needle points – 29 gauge ultra-fines, or even 30 gauge. The bonus with these fine points is they hardly hurt the vein at all since the hole they leave is so tiny. However, if they are too thin they can plug up with the substance you’re trying to shoot. This can happen with the adulterants in coke, speed or heroin on occasion, but it will happen a lot with pharmaceutical pills. In fact, it is almost impossible to use a 30 gauge for MS Contin morphine pills since you can’t squeeze the thick liquid out through such a tiny opening.
The problem with the 3cc syringes was not too tiny of needle, but too large. The gauge would be so big that you damage your veins just using it. The best would be a 26 gauge, which is still a pretty big point when one is used to the 28 gauge. Luckily that has changed. Most 3cc come with disposable needle tips so if the needle it comes with is too thick you can just replace it with a smaller, thinning needle. And it is becoming common to find packages of needles for the 3cc syringes that are 27 1/2 gauge, even 28 or 29. So, it becomes no different than using a standard needle, except that you can get a whole lot more liquid inside it.
Which is perfect for me. I’ve started using the 3cc syringe with a 28 or 27 1/2 gauge needle tip a lot. It enables me to get back the adequate amount of morphine when I cook up three pills at a time. Previously, when cooking three pills and having to fit them into a 1cc syringe, it would be too thick. I’d have to over-dilute and therefore not draw back the full amount of morphine from the spoon. With the 3cc this isn’t a problem. I can add enough water to really dilute 3 pills adequately, and I can draw that entire liquid (in other words, all the morphine) into the syringe to shoot.
For pharmaceutical like dilaudid a 1cc syringe is just fine, so too for the Statex morphine pills which crush to powder. But for the standard MS Contin which is the most common morphine pills on the street, a 1cc syringe just doesn’t fit the bill. Hell, I’ve seen lots of people, including myself, having to split my dose into four or five syringes, shoot them one right after another, to get my full dose of morphine into me. That’s because it takes that much liquid to dilute down four or five pills into a liquid one can squeeze through a needle point.
So, if your local needle exchange isn’t yet providing 3cc (and even 5cc) syringes, with a bunch of the disposable 27 or 28 gauge needle points, ask them to do so. If need be, explain why because they may have no idea about the problems trying to fit one’s fix into a 1cc syringe.
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