JUNKe Life

Home helps harm reduction
July 28, 2011, 12:17 pm
Filed under: harm reduction, JUNKe life | Tags: ,

Over the years I’ve lived some stretches on the streets.  Its got its good points, but if ain’t easy in lots of ways.  One of those ways its tough is in trying to keep clean; and more to the point, if you’re needing to fix a few times every day, its tough to find (or maintain) a clean place to do one’s prep and ultimately, one’s fix.  We all know dirt isn’t a good mix with whatever goes into our syringe, and therefore, having a clean place to do our thing is pretty darn important if one is trying to negotiate the risks.

daily bread

Having a clean and stable place to get things together is a big plus.  Luckily I’m managing to maintain a roof over my head, and under that roof, we manage to keep our place pretty clean.   In particular, we keep our prep area as dirt free and even sterile as realistically possible.   As well, having a stable living place that serves as one’s home means one can manage their harm reduction needs in terms of having a ready supply of harm reduction supplies.   I’m talking about a cupboard full of clean syringes, new needle tips, alcohol prep pads, sterile water, cottons, and any other tools of the trade.   Every needle exchange these days is more than willing to pass along enough supplies that one’s home can be well stocked on an ongoing basis.  As such, not only am I well prepared for my day-to-day needs, but I’ve got enough stock for that spontaneous party where suddenly there’s a bunch of folks hanging and needing a clean rig for each and every shot.

harm reduction cupboard

Having a sink and working tap is one of the luxuries that having housing also provides.   Water to use for fixing and water to use for cleaning – cleaning before and after one’s regular fix, and even during a session that’s stretching out into the new dawn.   And a counter-top to work on, something that’s easy to keep clean with a few wipes of a wash rag, followed by a good swipe down using a couple of alcohol prep pads.    And those spoons.  It’s great to have a drawer full of spoons for every need.   Spoons that are regularly washed in the sink.  Dried properly.  And in my case, carefully swiped with a new alcohol pap before every use (and then wiped dry with a clean piece of toilet paper prior to adding any “substance” into it).

Besides the cleanliness (harm reduction positive) that having a home entails, its great to be able to “hide” behind one’s closed doors and walls and relax and do one’s thing in relative tranquility, away from the prying eyes of rats or the ever-present street danger of patrolling police.

I can’t remember the quote exactly, but William Burroughs wrote something to the effect that there’s no excuse for dirty junky, that there’s no reason not to practice clean routines.   I guess he wasn’t thinking about homelessness at the time.  But he’s got a good point.  It’s ignorance and laziness which keeps us from practicing the harm reduction of cleanliness when one has the advantages of a home for their shelter.

hydromorph eslon grays oranges

Lately I’ve been forced to rely on some Eslon 200’s (red/opaque cap)  and some hydromorph contin 12 mgs (orange cap) because I’m not quite making it to resupply of my regular morphine grays.    As many have discovered, the hydromorph contin (basically dilaudid) is quite difficult to well-prepare.   Unlike the Eslons (which crush up easy with each bead releasing its morphine powder), the hydromorph contin beads are very tough.   Even after crushing a couple of beads there’s hardly any powder visable so I’m starting to wonder whether the bead itself is actually comprised of the dilaudid, as opposed to contains a dilaudid powder.   Therefore, it is not enough simply to break the bead (since there’s nothing to release from inside it) but instead you need to powder the bead itself by completely crushing it down to a powder.   I beleive the failure of people to crush of the beads completely is the reason why they are complaining about the bang from them.   I spend a considerable effort of muscle power breaking down the beads and the resulting powder – when mixed with water and heated – does ultimately release its precious narcotic nectar.   I’ve found that 12 mg of hydromorph is equivalent to aprox. 100 mg of morphine, so for me, two 12 mg hydromorph contins (well crushed and cooked) provides decent relief and wellness when flooded into my vein.   But only in a pinch do I do either of these caps.   They aren’t a healthy as good ol’ morphine contins.   I’ve being doing many morphine contins per day for eons and I’m still alive and not doing too darn shabby, if I do say so myself.

12 Comments so far
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So I have a couple things to say. I agree that not using clean works – assuming that they are readily available – is ignorant. However, a dopesick junkie who has just scored, in, say, the south end of Ottawa, would have to take a 30 minute bus ride to get to the nearest exchange. Not to mention that certain hours of the week there are no exchanges open, period, except for our dreaded one-for-one exchange (where they will literally tell you to go pick up a dirty needle and bring it back – “That’s what everyone else has to do, why should you get special treatment?”) and even then it’s right downtown, any users living in the burbs are screwed unless the site van is running.

My other comment was on the technical aspects of using hydromorph contins

Comment by Junkie_Monkey

Oops, hit the publish button by accident.

So, hydromorphone (dilaudid) is my favourite, my drug of choice some would say. I like the brand name Dilaudids (which come in tablet form and are very easy to crush up and prepare for injection) as much as I like the Hydromorph-contins (the continual or long-acting form). I’ve found, after years of using both, that the best method for preparing the contins is to add a little over a full cc of water (to compensate for the beads absorbing some of the water) and then let them soak for about 30 mins. However, this is not feasible for us who use outdoors. So the next best way, in my opinion, is to use the deepdish cookers (available here in Ottawa, I don’t know about anywhere else), put the beads in, add a little over a cc of water, and then use a full sized Bic lighter (it has to be a real Bic, otherwise it won’t work) to crush the beads. Give the lighter a good wipe down with an alcohol swab, and make sure the cooker is on a good hard surface. Be prepared to put some muscle into it, but since the lighter fits perfectly into the cooker it crushes the beads up perfectly. I mean, you’ll be amazed at how well it works.

I would really caution against heating up the beads before you crush them. If you use my method or something similar, there is no need to heat them – plus heating up hydromorphone can break the drug down at the molecular level, resulting in a loss of your hit. To me heating them is pointless.

Plus hydros leave an amazing wash – they’re the gift that keeps on giving! You can wash them two or three times and it’ll still get you feeling better, even on the third wash. When I wash my hydro cookers, I use a method that I wouldn’t recommend (but I’m superstitious) – I add vitamin c to help break down any pieces of beads still left, and I gently warm it up to dissolve the vitamin c and help release the dope into the water. However I never ever heat up the beads on my first hit.

Anyway, take what you will from that. I always take advice from others on how to do dope with a grain of salt – everyone is different and everyone’s methods are equally valid in my opinion, whatever works for you is the best for you.

Peace love and solidarity my brothers and sisters. Stay safe, keep hydrated, and watch out for the pigs!!!

Comment by Junkie_Monkey

Idk if anyone has ever tryed this but OMG it’s my only way To do it, I use IV solution instead of water it make the feeling way better cause it’s the stuff hospitals use on you, and yes when it comes to dilaudids they are the best an I never cook them either

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Comment by alokita

Hey Im from nz we dont have heroin there so we use morphine greys and eslons we crudh that up mix with baking soda a tiny bit dry it then put aa or double on the spoon then tin foil over that and cook it it turns orange to red its pretty much turning it into heroin u should try it way better than banging up plain morph dont know if any one else dos this over seas but the taste is way better

Comment by steph

Hey, it’s Anna Grace. I really like what your doing with your blog. I wish there was a blog like this back when I first started shooting dope. Instead I bought a book, “The Heroin User’s Handbook”. It wouldn’t have mattered if their was a blog back then, because I didn’t have a computer. Which means I couldn’t buy The User’s Handbook online in privacy, I had to go to Barns and Noble where one worker told me she would not even look up such a book and prepetuate drug use. I called the store later that day and complained to the manager. I even had the ladies name “Rose”. The next day I went back and a guy was working, he ordered the book for me without a question or a side glance.

As far as the hydromorphone contin, your right you have to crush those bead into a powder. The beads don’t have the powder in them. Pain in the ass as you well know. Thank goodness for those old school medicine bowls. When I used to doctor shop for hydromorphone, I never got hydromorph contin. I always got straight hydromorphone in tablet form which was easily crushed, and cooked up clear. Here in Wisconsin I would get 8mg tabs, but in Michigan the 8mg are not available outside of hospitals, so I would get 4mg. In most states the 8mg are not used outside hospitals. 8mg is the highest dose avaliable in pure hydromorphone (Dilauded) tablets.

In Hawaii is the first time I ever heard of or seen hydromorphone contin. I was looking for Dilauded as it was always my perfered narcotic pain pill. Morphine causes my whole body to turn red, and I get the pins and needles and itches really intense, so intense it hurts and dosen’t feel good. Its so intense it doesn’t even let me enjoy the feeling of blast. Then I get a sever headache. where I can’t move or it pounds.You know how when you shoot dope and the spot where you shot it puffs up and turns red almost like an allergic reaction? Well my whole body puffs up and turns red like that with Morphine. I have to take a benadryl to make it go away. Even though I always have this reaction to Morphine if I shoot more than 90mgs of MS contin. (3 30mg) I have still tried it again and again thinking this time it won’t happen. I found out a year or two later that my paternal grandmother was allergic to morphine too. The weird thing is, I can take them as your suppose to through the mouth, and I don’t have any reaction at all. I get high, but no allergic reaction. Only when I shoot it up. What the fuck is that about? My thoughts are, I’m allergic to something that is only released into the blood stream when you crush and cook them. It happens with both XR and rapid release cement mixers aka grey.
Totally got off subject there, back to hyromorph contin. After looking around for hydromorphone I finally found a guy who was selling them. When I went to buy them they were in capsuls, and I thought I was getting ripped off. So I called Walgreens, and did a pill check, sure enough it was hydromorphone contin. The contin is XR, and XR’s are always a pain in the ass to cook.

You got the Burroughs quote right. It from the book Junky. When I read that line in the book, I though about being homeless and how hard it was to keep my works clean. When I first started using IV, I was a total clean freak. I showered before I injected everytime. I was takeing 4 showers a day at one point. I always had clean syringes, used alcohol pads to wipe down every peice of works I used, and on the injection site. I even put iodine over the injection site. When my boyfriend would come home with a package of 10 syringes and they were all in one bag instead of being individually packaged I wouldn’t use them…at first. As time went on and I started getting sick, and getting a fix fast was more of a concern than cleanliness. Then the day came when my boyfriend had used the last fit for his morning fix before work. When I woke up there were no fits, so I went into the Tide bottle and used a dirty fit. (here in Wisconsin you don’t have to have a bioharzards bin, you can use a laundry detergant bottle as long as you mark it bioharzard.)
After that I got less and less woried about cleanlieness. When I become homeless I even shared works even fits with other users. Doing so, I ended up with Hep C.

Last spring when I first started up again full time relapse, the same pattren. Clean works to used. Towards the end I was living in a shooting galary. I was the only one who was willing to get off my ass and ride my bike to the exchange and get clean works. When I did this I wasn’t just getting clean works for myself, but for 5 to 8 diffrent people. Each bag had 20 syringes, 10 cookers, 20 sterile waters, 20 cottons, 10 garabage ties for the cooker, and 20 antibactrial wipes, and 20 alcohol pads. Green bay is the only place I’ve ever knowen an exchange to give out antibactiral wipes. They weren’t even the small kind you get before you give a UA at the doctors office, they came in packages that looked like babywipes, but thin because there was only 20 in there. The package was yellow, and even had a namebrand, Wet Ones, I think it was. I think they are donated, because I can’t see the government paying for that.

Seeing as all we got was 20 fits, we re used them until they were dull. Even though we all had our own cookers, we still shared because we would share a bag,(when nobody had enough $ to get a bag for themselves, but together we had enough for a bag) and the easiest way to do that fairly was to put 40cc of water in the syringe and you each get 20cc, 60cc for three, and 80cc for four people. Four people was pretty much max of people who could share one bag, plus their is only 100cc, and 80cc is a lot of water to put in a cooker with only one bag of dope in it, 100cc would be way too much.

Sorry for going on and on. I should have just wrote my own post about it. Although if I did I would get a bunch of anonymous commenters telling me they are sick of me talking about my past, or that I was making it all up.

Speaking of, I don’t know if you read my blog anymore after I pulled that fake suicide and then after worrying people who really cared, I told everyone to fuck off. I’m truly sorry about that, and I understand if you don’t read my blog any longer. I understand why I get so many anon commenters who think I’ve never used heroin or pain pills. It just bothers the living fuck out of me. I’ve posted pics of me shooting up, but the solution in the syringe was too clear, you were just shooting water. Then I post a pic of my take home methadone dose, its too far away, we can’t see any of the writing on the lable, the methadone is pink (its green in the UK), you could be holding up any bottle. So I take a close up pic of the bottle with my name, the dosage, even the says methadone on the lable as well as the date with year. The bottle is empty, how do we know its you we can’t see your face. In the picture before when they complained about the label being out of focus my face was in the picture and the methadone was in the bottle. I took the first pic on the 3rd of July, and the second pic on the 4th of July after I took the dose. Seriously, I could post a video of myself cooking up the heroin, and injecting people would say it was a hoax. I’m just giving up. Nothing I can do will satisfy those people that I am an addict.

wow, this is a long comment. I”m sorry. I’m going to go and read some of your older posts, and catch up. I haven’t read in a few months.

Comment by Anna young

i managed to get my hands on those hydromorph contins the canadian PF’s…are they still shootable ? and how much do i need? i have a dependancy to diaudids and i iv about 3-4 8mg’s a day…..if u can reply it would be appreciated

Comment by johnny_walnuts

yeah they are shootable. The little beads crush up pretty easy. Double filtering is a good idea – first time in spoon with crushed beads, then filter again whatever gets pulled up in that first draw.

Comment by opiAted

You should use a good straw to crush the pills. Also, I have read that heating up Dilaudid/hydromophone destroys it. So many people don’t heat it.

Comment by bill

Anna good post and I can really relate to all the cleanliness at the beginning but why do you care if others think you are an actual junkie or not? Usually people dont want others to know they are using but you actually are trying to prove your a junkie?? No offense but that seems a little strange. As long as you know, who the fuck cares what other people think or say? Sometimes when you try to prove so hard, people will always try to get a reaction out of you or just flat out say they dont believe you to piss you off. A wise man once told me one day, FUCK THE FUCKING FUCKERS!

Good luck with the Hep C, I got it too. They now have somewhat of a cure for it. Although its not a true “cure” it does lower the viral load to zero and stops it from replicating. Do a google search on “new HCV drug” or “new HCV antivirals”

Comment by blazeaglory

Not a single one of u gave a simple self explanatory answer I wanted to know the process. Do all kinds break down? whats a good water to weight ratio? Heat or no heat? ( I kow that one got answered, i know but,,,,,)

Comment by Breezy

lol idk if anybody mentioned it but in Ontario the area I am, at anydrugs store, for example shoppers drug mark and to my suprize even small town pharmacys also have pill crushers. now some don’t work, they are mostly made of plastic and the goodones are coloured either red, blue or white with a small twist or pop off compartment on the bottem of it, most of what anybody does around heres is just hydromorph contin (we call them hydro’s) and if ur lucky hydrophorphones (we call them delauded’s ) but very less available for whatever reason I don’t know.. but anyway just thought id let yall having touble, which it is hard as shit to crush the beads grab a crusher at any pharmacy to make it as easy as twisting of the hand. one tip, first time using the crusher it may be statickie causing some powder to fall out when twisting the lid off but other then that there mint. oh one more thing I would advice never using cigarette filter for your filtration as most are made with fiberglass aswell and can and will do the most and a lot of harm to the body.. I never use them unless the situations dire those times ya just cant wait or your stuck somewhere and its all you got, and in those times don’t overwork your piece of filter, squishing it, or sticking in and out a bunch of times or whatever ..you know what I mean, ” rough it up” lol don’t do that with cigarette filters you will loosen the small pieces of fiber glass or cotton and get them in your hit and I’m sure most of us know what that could mean … COTTON FEVER !! except when its fiber glass its much worse and can be harmful or even deadly.. how many other people have experienced the hell of cotton fever ? or even sometimes a bacterial fever/sickness from doing questionable washes or a dirty hit? either way there both crippling but don’t do any or almost none harm to the body itself( unless ofcource its fiberglass then it can be lol) but for a desent amount of time you will feel like your in hell or it would be easier to die and theres no way really to get rid of it other then time, sometimes a saline drip could help but don’t go shootin salt water now lol or as users would think or know another good hit will make it go away.. not entirely but a good hit does take the pain away and start with the other symptoms but you will still be feeling sluggish or shitty for a good 8-12 hours id say. but all as said above just my opinions and experience not direction : ) .

Comment by bilbow52

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