Heroin for dummies

By chillinwill · Jan 3, 2010 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Here's the latest smack on taxpayers.

    The city spent $32,000 on 70,000 fliers that tell you how to shoot heroin, complete with detailed tips on prepping the dope and injecting it into your arm.

    The Health Department handout has outraged New York's top drug prosecutors and abuse experts.

    "It's basically step-by- step instruction on how to inject a poison," said John Gilbride, who heads the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office.

    "It's sick," said City Council member Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens)

    "Foolish," said Columbia University drug researcher and treatment expert Dr. Herbert Kleber.

    The 16-page pamphlet features seven comics-like illustrations and offers dope fiends such useful advice as "Warm your body (jump up and down) to show your veins," and "Find the vein before you try to inject."

    It even encourages addicts to keep jabbing if their needles miss the mark.

    "If you don't 'register,' pull out and try again," it says.

    The brochure sends the wrong message about the dangers of the drug, experts said.

    "It concerns me that the city would produce a how-to on using drugs," Gilbride said. "Heroin is extremely potent. You may only get the chance to use it once. To suggest there is a method of using that alleviates the dangers, that's very disturbing."

    Vallone, who chairs the council's public safety committee, vowed to shut down the distribution of the pamphlet.

    "This is a tremendous misuse of city funds, and I'm going to see what I can do to stop it. It sends a message to our youth: give it a try," he fumed.

    Gilbride and city drug czar Bridget Brennan noted that the manual does have some sound advice. It stresses the importance of kicking the habit, seeking professional help and not sharing needles.

    But it also spells out how junkies should ready their fix and the best ways to shoot it -- a bad idea when more New York teens than ever are trying heroin, they said.

    "What we do not want to do is suggest that there's anything safe about shooting up narcotics," said Brennan, the city's special narcotics prosecutor. "No matter how many times you wash your hands or how clean the needle is, it's still poison that you're putting in your veins."

    The guidebook, called "Take Charge, Take Care," has sections on overdosing, testing for HIV and hepatitis -- and how to "prepare drugs carefully" and "how to take care of your veins."

    Kleber, a psychiatry professor, said the brochure could help save lives but that it was "foolish" for the city to include tips on how to shoot up.

    The Health Department defended its brochure, saying it was helpful and necessary, and has been distributed only to addicts or those at risk of becoming abusers.

    "Our goal is to promote health and save lives with this information," said Daliah Heller, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care and Treatment.

    Asked why the handout tells people how to shoot up, Heller said, "From a health perspective, there is a less harmful way to inject yourself."

    The flier fails to identify the city agency as its creator and distributor, and mentions only a group called LifeNet and the city's 311 help line as call-in resources to addicts.

    LifeNet is run by the nonprofit Mental Health Association of New York City, which is heavily funded by the city.

    "It's certainly not ours," said association spokeswoman Beth Garcia.

    January 3, 2010
    NY Post

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  1. missparkles
    No, it ensures that people who have a need to be kept safe have all the info they need to stay safe.

    Would they react so strongly if other (prescribed) drugs were given without dosage instructions, or side effects to look out for? Yes...of course they would.

    Even OTC meds (which is self medicating) has every instruction possible to keep the self medicator as safe as possible.

    Why can't people see there is no difference?

    In fact Sparkles will go one step further (and go out on a bit of a limb here) by not giving this vital info the authorities are actually contributing to the deaths, so in part could be held somewhat responsible. The drugs we're talking about do have legal equivalents which docs refuse to prescribe for people who they feel don't need them. So would that be "negligent homicide?" (American legal term)

    Why are aqn addicts lives less valuable?

    With one breath government says they're pouring millions into helping addicts quit...to keep them alive. With the next breath they're outraged at info that does the same...keeps them alive...so that they can quit.

    You can't have it both ways.

  2. Piglet
    The US with it's secrecy, lack of free works & all that other stuff ensures that the death rate is at least double what it should be. Lifeline learned that 'keep them alive, they will eventualy give up themselves' seems to be the best route.
  3. VirtuallyEmotionless
    It's easy to see why law enforcement\whoever would think this is a bad idea. If you give people factual information, they're going to make more informed and well thought out decisions. At the same time, you may give someone information that they will use to get high. It's kind of like a double edged sword. SWIM is a good example of what exactly factual information will do to someone's drug use. Sites like 'rowid ( SWIM doesn't know if posting the name of the site breaks any rules, he re-skimmed through them but didn't find anything about posting names to sites but SWIM is still gonna stay on the safe side. ) are kind of like SWIM's anti-drug. SWIM would have done Datura if it wasn't for 'rowid. SWIM knows that it's a good thing that he had done all his research before he found 2 Datura plants that grow right close to home. SWIM can't say for sure but 'rowid may have saved his life. SWIM was an ill informed idiot back in the day, eating 15 paroxetine in the morning, 8 in the afternoon, and then another 15 at night. Or lol, once SWIM took like 20 aspirin's. dissolved them in water, and drank the sour acidy, mushy crap. :thumbsdown: That's just 2 examples of why people should be informed and knowledgable about the drugs they choose to use. Everyone here knows that what SWIM did with what his doctor gave him, and with what he had sitting on top of his refrigerator, was probably more harmful than any flier explaining the safest way to IV. SWIM also found about DXM by accident because someone told him cough syrup had alcohol in it. SWIM had experienced promethazine\codeine syrup prior, so he gave it a go. SWIM remembers the days of trying to tell people it was the Dextromethorphan because the Guaifenesin only syrup did nothing. Everyone used to talk shit to me about it saying you can't get fucked up off of Robitussin. It was even worse when SWIM was in high school and nobody would listen about how bad Coricidin's are. They all laughed at SWIM for drinking cough syrup. Who's laughing now, SWIM is. :laugh: Nice read ChillinWill.
  4. missparkles
    You're talking about saving lives here, bottom line. These people are saying "let em die." That's criminal.:thumbsdown:

  5. RaverHippie
    I wish I could locate a physical copy of these. It sounds amazing. I applaud whoever allocated the funding for such an endeavor!
  6. dyingtomorrow
    I can't even begin to get into the mind of those kind of people. It's almost like they can't accept the fact that there are LOTS of people who do heroin.

    What should the flier have said? "Don't do heroin"? Gee, why don't they just ask people to stop doing heroin, or better yet, tell them. That will work!

    Even with the hundreds of millions of dollars they waste on spying on people, guns, cars, office space, full time salaries of thousands of officers, lawyers, judges, the cost of building and running gigantic prison complexes, the draconian penalties they threaten people with for using heroin - none of this even puts a dent in it. It's like trying to block the flow of a large river with a piece of plywood. So while they waste money and run around harming society, doing absolutely nothing to stop drugs, they actually think that telling these hundreds of thousands of users how to be safe and not get infected, and not infect other people, is a harmful thing?

    It's just unbelievable.

    It's hilarious that they call it "poison." Heroin, diacetylmorphine, is not practically different than morphine, which doctors are constantly injecting people with and prescribing to them. Not to mention they use it as a medicine in more civilized countries. Instead of needing 1.5 - 2 fluid measures of morphine, they just need 1 of heroin - what a poison! The propaganda these people use, way these people work, is just sickening.
  7. Helene
    Eurgh. Articles like this really disgust me.

    In the eyes of those who write things like this, it'd just be a whole lot simpler if anyone who injected heroin just dropped down dead. And so misinformation and ignorance is a good thing, teach people how to take drugs safely and they're just gonna live longer. Having junkies die of things like HIV, Hep C and thomboses is actually quite convenient, so why teach them how to avoid it?

    Makes me sick.

    And another thing, it's not like they were giving these leaflets out in primary schools, is it? From my understanding of it, these informative leaflets were being used in a drugs service context, being made available to those who are already using (if not injecting) heroin, and letting them know how to do it as safely as they can. The idea that if you stick a needle in and it doesn't hit the intended vein you should do anything other than take it out and try again is ludicrous. Missing hits of street heroin can lead to infections, abscesses, blood clots etc.

    Anyway, on a more positive note, in the UK the drugs services are literally full of leaflets like this. You can get them on each and every aspect on IV drug use, be it injecting into femoral (groin) veins, injecting speedballs/ snowballs (crack and heroin mixes), or just standard advice on cooking up and hitting up as safely as possible.

    When will the USA realise that their approach is not working?

  8. Terrapinzflyer
    anyone able to find a copy of the pamphlet online? I did a cursory search w/o luck...
  9. RaverHippie

    (launches a .pdf download of pamphlet)
  10. Terrapinzflyer
  11. jtb
    is it just me or does there seem to be a curious bias towards blacks and hispanics in that pamphlet? :laugh:
  12. Terrapinzflyer
    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defends pamphlet for heroin users

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending a decision by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to print a pamphlet for heroin users, which offers information on how to prepare drugs carefully and how to care for veins to avoid infection.

    "I would certainly not recommend to anyone that they use hard drugs or soft drugs," Bloomberg said on Monday. "But our health department does have an interest in if you're going to do certain things to get you to do it as healthily as you possibly can."

    Tips in the booklet include: "Drop the cotton directly into the cooker. Don't touch it!" and "Warm your body (jump up and down) to show your veins."

    John Gilbride, New York's top official with the Drug Enforcement Administration, calls the brochure a 'step-by-step instruction on how to inject a poison.'

    The 17-page pamphlet also offers information on HIV testing and the dangers of sharing needles. It has been in circulation since June 2007, but the city has faced increasing pressure over the past few days to withdraw the publication.

    “You’re spending taxpayer money and getting a how-to guide for first-time users,” said City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., a Democrat from Queens. Vallone said he plans to meet with the city's health commissioner this week to encourage him to withdraw the pamphlet.

    By Trish LaMonte
    January 06, 2010, 9:20AM

  13. Helene
    Grrrr.... again - they're not giving these things out in schools, are they?! They're for people who are already using heroin, not for kids as a step-by-step how-to-hit-up-smack tutorial. I'm guessing these flyers are available in drugs services, needles exchanges etc, am I right? Not the sort of places that non-users tend to spend time in really...

    The same argument keeps coming up against the whole legalised prescription heroin thing here in the UK. It's absolutely idiotic - a diamorphine script is only going to be available to someone who is already addicted to heroin, it's not going to be open to any kid who thinks "hm, lets give skag a go". As it stands, in most UK inner cities it's easier for kids to cop a bag of heroin now than it would be if the stuff was legalised and scripted. But that's a different matter...

    This idea that pretending these things don't exist will somehow make them go away is absurd. It's like they don't even want to acknowledge the problem or even admit that junkies exist, in the hope that somehow they won't. Doesn't it make more sense to try and ensure that the people who are injecting heroin are doing it as safely as possible? No? Or are we going back to the whole Just Say No way of thinking? Cos that worked out well didn't it, what with the whole HIV epidemic of the 1980's... morons.

    Incidentally, in that leaflet, what do they mean when they say "only 'boot' once or twice in one shot"? Swim thought she was pretty up there with the IV lingo, but she is rather unfamiliar with all this US terminology - in the UK, in terms of heroin use "boot" means to smoke it on foil. Thanks,

  14. Terrapinzflyer

    That is a very enlightened statement for a US politician. Never really thought much of Bloomberg from what little I know but I must give him Kudos for this, especially in the face of the storm of protest. :thumbsup:
  15. Jackstar
    Using Google for a few minutes yielded a copy of the leaflet in question. I showed it to SWIM, who said that it was all excellent advice that most people of a certain age should know.

    I was more intrigued by the offer of free OD kits. Who wouldn't want two or three of these scattered around one's area? You never know what might happen.

    Picture it, you're driving late one night and pick up hitchhikers. 10 minutes later, one of them shows signs of overdose. You could save the day yourself, or drive to a hospital. I don't think the latter could be as much fun.
  16. Helene
    Just feel the need to make it clear that user-held naloxone (the opiate OD reversal drug in these kits) is to be used in addition to seeking emergency medical help, and not instead of it. Naloxone's duration of action is considerably shorter than most opiates (such as heroin, methadone etc), and so there is a very real risk of people re-overdosing after the naloxone wears off. And so medical attention is paramount.

    Terrapinz, apologies for somewhat :eek:fftopic: post, however I didn't think you'd mind as it is important harm reduction information, right?

  17. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^^ no not at all :thumbsup: Is naloxone the drug also known as Lazarus (as in being able to raise the dead)
  18. Helene
    Haven't heard of naloxone being called that, but a quick search tells me that in the US the name given to one of the major take-home naloxone schemes was "Project Lazarus". So yes, this is the same drug - it's the only dedicated opiate reversal agent.

  19. ninjaned
    Ugh, I hate to continue the trend of off topicness but isn't naltraxalone also one?
  20. Helene
    I think you mean naltrexone. Unlike naloxone, naltrexone isn't used as an opiate-reversal drug to bring people out of an OD, but is a similar drug with opiate-blocking properties. Naloxone is sometimes also known by the brand name Narcon.

    Naltrexone is used as a way of preventing relapse in opiate addicts, post-detox. It is given to people in the form of an implaneted pellet, injection or tablet in order to block the effects of any opiates they should take. Naltrexone is also sometimes used in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

    As well as being used as an opiate OD-reversal drug, naloxone is also found in suboxone, an opiate substitute drug used to treat addicts. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The idea behind the addition of naloxone is to discourage intravenous abuse of suboxone. The naloxone component remains inert if the tablet is taken sublingually (dissolved under the tongue) as prescribed. If, however, the tablet is injected, the naloxone comes into effect and sends the user into withdrawal.

    Nicely off-topic...!

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