Safe Drug Use

Sharing drug-injecting equipment puts you at risk of HIV, viral hepatitis. The guidelines below offer advice on injecting safely and minimise the risk of acquiring HIV and other blood borne viruses.

  • Needles and syringes (fits): New injecting equipment should be used for every injection. These can be obtained from needle exchanges.
  • Filters:  Filters should be disposed of and not re-used.
  • Spoons:  Spoons can be disinfected using a clean swab. Swabs are available from needle exchanges or chemists.
  • Mixing water:  Sterile water, available from chemists and some needle exchanges, should be used to mix drugs. Recently boiled water, non-carbonated mineral water or the sterile saline solution used for contact lenses can also be used. If the mixing water is used for multiple mixes, make sure that only sterile syringes draw the water from the water container or glass. Never draw water using a used syringe.
  • Tourniquets:  Tourniquets that have been used by someone else can have tiny, microscopic drops of blood left on them. Therefore it is best to use a new, clean one for every hit. Disposable tourniquets are available from needle and syringe exchange programs and chemists.

It’s important to not that using recreational drugs can lower your inhibitions and make it more likely you will take risks with sex that you otherwise would not.

For more detailed information about safe drug use, contact:

The Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)

The North American Harm Reduction Coalition 

Australian Drug Information Network (ADIN)