Canmedaa gives personal thanks to MovingPictures, that explanation about the mindset is exactly the kind of thing she has trouble comprehending.
Canmedaa knows shes always posting anecdotes in her replies, but hopes DFers find them valuable and not annoying. Canmedaa doesn't know if there are other physicians that contribute to DF or at least others that freely identify themselves as such so she likes to think her status as one is useful to the DF community.
Canmedaa got to thinking about this thread and even though she mentioned the time she had to amputate an injector's hand, she also got to thinking about mentioning something else she's dealt with in her occupation related to IV administration.
Because Canmedaa holds a duel specialty in family practice and emergency medicine shes basically just a high-powered GP. Even though currently she only does contract ER work (she has not established a family practice in the community) she does end up serving as a primary GP for some individuals in her community who do not have one and are entirely dependent on the ER.
Canmedaa also ends up with the majority of the psychiatric patients in the community because we don't have any psychiatrists in our district and she's the only M.D. on staff who did their undergrad in psychology. So shes the closest thing we got. As such she sees plenty of patients who have scripts for the very drugs
that are frequently discussed on DF.
It takes a while, but Canmedaa strives to be a physician that her patients trust and will be honest with and for many, she is well-favoured for this. There are some patients who do IV their medications that she has talked to and who have described a sort of independent addiction
to the needle itself. When she has a patient who is going to be IVing their drugs she is presented with the choice of trying to make this behaviour safer, or letting it go, knowing full-well that she's left the patient to their own devices and if they fuck up what their doing, she is arguaably responsible for any catastrophes that occur after she was made aware of the fact.
One patient comes to mind who only recently she did this with. The patient was an IV drug
user of drugs not manufactured for IV use. In this case the patient was IVing clonazepam
, a benzo
that Canmedaa had put the patient on several months prior. The patient confessed to IVing the drug when they came to the ER seeking Canmedaa specifically for what they suspected was a 'botched job'. The patient also confessed to reusing needles and sharing them.
Because this was an ongoing issue and the patient had reached out for help Canmedaa and the patient both came to the agreement that the patient was going to continue IV use, regardless therefore Canmedaa needed to address the issue. The patient was one that talked about this sort of addiction to the needle itself.
Canmedaa takes a harm-reduction stance when it comes to drug abusers under her care which has always been a characteristic that she's been criticized for by superiors and colleagues. Canmedaa insisted on testing for blood-bourne infections, which the patient in question is still going through. She set up an appointment outside of her duty hours to provide the patient with proper instruction on how to administer IV and IM medication and provided the patient with a proper tourniquet and a supply of proper syringes and appropriate needle heads as well as with a sharps bin (these are free in many areas of Canada, usually obtained from a pharmacy). Canmedaa switched the patient from clonazepam to diazepam
because diazepam is available in liquid form for both IV and IM administration. So far, each follow-up with this patient has been good, for the patient is still administering with a needle but administering an appropriate dose and drug in a form manufactured for that purpose. The patient's administration techniques are much better and the patient reports no sharing of needles and no use of 'works' since no 'works' are required for the drug in this format. Overall the patient is pleased and Canmedaa feels that things are much safer this way.
Canmedaa suspects that anyone IVing their meds is unlikely to have access to a physician who will do something like what was described above, but if you do have access to such a person, it might be worth talking to them about it in case a safer alternative is available.
Canmedaa can't speak for other countries, but if you are in Canada there may be needle exchange programs in your area, as well as 'safe shooting houses' where you can admnister you drugs with clean equipment under medical supervision. If this is not convenient or available to you, you can walk into any pharmacy an ask for a supple of syringes and needle-heads. And assembled hypodermic is $0.50 from the main chain of pharmacies in Ontario. You can also acquire a proper sharps bin for free which once its filled, you can return to the pharmacy and they will issue an empty one and safely dispose of the fileld container.