Injection preparation processes used by heroin and crack cocaine injectors

  title={Injection preparation processes used by heroin and crack cocaine injectors},
  author={Rhys Ponton and Jenny Scott},
  journal={Journal of Substance Use},
  pages={7 - 19}
Background In the UK, most heroin and crack cocaine is not soluble in water alone. They require conversion to a soluble form before they can be injected. To accomplish this, users add weak acids, for example citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar. There is little information in the literature examining the preparation steps in detail. A better understanding would inform safer injecting research and practice. Aim To investigate the preparation of insoluble illicit drugs for injection with… 
Faking it: the use of imitation drugs in research interviews
  • R. Ponton
  • Sociology
    Journal of Substance Use
  • 2019
ABSTRACT This paper documents the identification and selection of substances to mimic illicit drugs for a sequence of interviews used to document the preparation methods of PWID. In a sequence of
Injecting-related health harms and overuse of acidifiers among people who inject heroin and crack cocaine in London: a mixed-methods study
BackgroundVenous access is a priority for people who inject drugs (PWID). Damage and scarring of peripheral veins can exacerbate health harms, such as skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), and
Does the preparation for intravenous administration affect the composition of heroin injections? A controlled laboratory study.
Preparation of heroin for intravenous injection appears to change the amount or concentration of diacetylmorphine and its active metabolites, 6-acetyl Morphine and morphine, in the final product, depending on heroin purity, amount and type of acid used, or heating conditions.
Crack-heroin speedball injection and its implications for vein care: qualitative study.
There is an urgent need for reviewing harm reduction in relation to vein care in the context of shifts to crack-based speedball injection, and the use of the femoral vein, among UK injectors.
The availability of injecting paraphernalia in the UK following the 2003 law change to permit supply
The data suggest that the range of paraphernalia supplied by needle exchanges could be extended from the majority of outlets, in the absence of information that can attribute risk to the sharing of specific items.
Correlates of Self-Reported Cotton Fever Experience among People Who Inject Opioids
It is highlighted that cotton fever is a frequent complication of injecting drug use and avoiding the use and reuse of cotton balls to filter injected solutions, and promoting membrane filters use could reduce the risk of the condition occurring.
Navigating environmental constraints to injection preparation: the use of saliva and other alternatives to sterile water among unstably housed PWID in London
An underexplored environmental constraint faced by people living and injecting drugs on the streets is highlighted, ensuring water for injection is made available for the unstably housed and that harm reduction messaging is tailored to speak to the everyday realities of people who prepare and inject drugs in public spaces.
To what extent do supervised drug consumption services incorporate non-injection routes of administration? A systematic scoping review documenting existing facilities
Extant academic and grey literature indicates that site characteristics and demographics of program participants of SCS that permit non-injection routes of consumption largely reflect those of supervised injection services.
Self-care and risk reduction habits in older injection drug users with chronic wounds: a cross-sectional study
Older IDUs with chronic wounds have different, and perhaps less risky, injection and hygiene behaviors than their peers and younger IDUs without wounds in Baltimore City, and may be more receptive to community-based healthcare and substance abuse treatment messages.


Laboratory study of the effects of citric and ascorbic acids on injections prepared with brown heroin.
On the last occasion of heroin use, brown heroin had been the form most commonly used, with over 90% of the sample using citric acid or vitamin C and heat was almost universally applied in conjunction with lemon juice.
Drug content of powders and other illicit preparations in the UK
Analytical studies on illicit heroin
  • H. Huizer
  • Chemistry
    Pharmaceutisch Weekblad
  • 2005
A hypothesis is given for the phenomenon of ‘heroin’-leucoencephalopathy that was observed in heroin smokers in Amsterdam in 1981 and the types of heroin encountered in the Netherlands are discussed with regard to their suitability for smoking.
Heroin in the United Kingdom: different forms, different origins, and the relationship to different routes of administration.
Novel approaches at the macro level to prevention and control of heroin-related problems through influence upon this complex heroin market-place should now be considered.
Impurities, adulterants and diluents of illicit heroin. Changes during a 12-year period.
  • E. Kaa
  • Medicine
    Forensic science international
  • 1994
Lemon juice as a solvent for heroin in Spain.
Preliminary observations and responses to interviews in Valencia, Spain reveal that injecting drug users dissolve heroin before injection with two or three drops of lemon juice, making heating of heroin in water unnecessary.
Impurities, adulterants and diluents of illicit heroin in Denmark (Jutland and Funen).
  • E. Kaa, K. Bent
  • Chemistry, Medicine
    Forensic science international
  • 1986