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So, SWIM has been IVing dilaudid 4mg (k4s) off and on for about 6 months now. When she first started, SWIM had wonderful veins and it took only seconds to register blood and inject the shot, and never missed. After the first couple months of doing this, SWIM quit for a month or so (having quit her job, the cause of which had nothing to do with said drug use but rather with it being a shitty job, and having lost any income with which to buy 4s).
Soon after starting a new job, SWIM began shooting up again, but this time things were not quite so peachy when it came to finding a vein! Even SWIM's boyfriend, who is much more experienced in IVing drugs, seems to have trouble taking any less than 10 minutes to find one and successfully inject her. Said boy says that it is because SWIM has tiny veins (which has been confirmed by anyone who has drawn blood) and because when the attempt is made at inserting the needle, the vein "rolls" or moves to the side, which upon further inspection by SWIM is confirmed as well.
SWIM's question, though, is this: Does anyone have any theories or answers as to why perfectly good veins would have gone from being so wonderfully cooperative to running away at the sight of a needle after only a short period of shooting 4s and--even more puzzling--a month-long break?
Also, does anyone have any experience with problems like this or any advice on how to remedy it, or at least make shooting up less of a pain in the ass?
Swim has been IV'ing drugs for many years and has had the same problems, part of the trouble is that if one uses the same vein to often it just seems to collapse, for best results swiy should always try to use a new syringe and rotate the use of ones veins as this will prolong the use of them and stop anyone vein from collapsing. The best thing to do would be to avoid injecting altogether as there are many other routes that are far less damaging than IV'ing.
Pulling back on the syringe can cause veings to collapse very quickly as well. Vein damage may be irreperable in cases, no amount of breaks can compensate for blowing veins, if the damage is bad enough. A month break is nice and might have helped, but it would likely not be a sufficient amount of time for the body to repair itself.
SWIM echoes the sage advice of the above posts, since SWIY has not been shooting long, maybe its time to cut SWIY's losses and stop using via IV. SWIM does not normally like to proseletyze as to what people should and should not do with themselves, but it sounds as if SWIY simply does not have veins that lend themselves to IV drug use well, and continued use would likely cause the number of damaged and blown veins to escalate.
SWIY may want to evaluate whether or not she wants to continue opioid use at all, for many these drugs become a full-time job in themselves when one factors in the amount of time spent to get money, obtain the drugs, use them, and recover from their effects. They make a "great lover but terrible mistress" as swiHlucn8 would say.
If SWIY decides that she does want to continue opioid use, it may be wise to stop using them IV, at any rate. For many, rectal administration produces rapid onset and a comparable strength of high (albeit without the initial "rush"). Insufflation of some opioids is possible as well, and oral administration of course produces the lengthiest highs, although the potency of the high will be somewhat diminished.
Give this matter some serious consideration, only SWIY can say definitively whether it is worth the health impact of continuing to use IV. If SWIY wants to continue using, then other members of the forum may be able to give some harm reduction advice about proper shooting techniques and how to minimize damage to veins.
SWIM finds it somewhat strange that SWIY has tiny veins and rolling veins. Is SWIY saying that the same vein/s that are tiny also roll? In SWIM's experience tiny veins can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to use, especially on a regualar basis, SWIY could try using a small guage like 29 for these, this should increase SWIY chance of hitting the vein without putting the needle right through it. As for rolling veins, SWIM has found these types of veins are usually bigger and generally roll from the pressure of the needle on the skin, especially if the skin is tougher or scarred. Using a brand new sharp needle is a must. SWIM has also found if there are more than 2 sets of hands working on the problem, one set can put a finger on each side of the vein and pull the skin tight, this can sometimes prevent the vein from rolling. Before you even try this though SWIM recommends at least 10 mins of cardio activity to get SWIY's blood pumping around SWIY's body, and a warm compress on the intended site.
SWIM also has " tiny veins " and he is not very muscular so his veins aren't very visible. They only roll for him in areas like the hands and wrist. Try taking a hot shower ( very impractical ) before shooting up. SWIM often mainlines in his car, so " while waiting for the man " he turns up the heat all the way and rolls up all of the windows to get his veins to plump up. Another great thing is to use an ELASTIC tourniquet. If you can't find a medical grade one then cut the elastic on a pair of mens boxers and use that. The elasticity of the tourniquet will cushion the vein from rolling around. Also never underestimate the power of slapping the area before going fishing in the river. Hope this helps!
Thanks, asplinteredfawn. That is what SWIM meant by tiny veins and rolling veins. The ones in SWIM's wrists are the ones that seem to roll, whereas the ones in the inner bend of the elbow (the ones that usually have blood taken from them) are the ones that SWIM has been told are "tiny". Sorry for the confusion. Thanks to all for the advice, including those who advise not IVing anymore. SWIM knows it is a somewhat dangerous path and understands that she should probably quit while she is ahead.
Sure, you're probably in the right for trying to suggest abstinence rather than superior injection methods.
Anyone trying to tell you to quit is obviously below the level of attachment to the needle as this SWIM is. Even if SWIM could achieve the same effect from rectal administration SWIM would rather take it to the river.
Cos' he is addicted to the sweet cylindrical saints known as the BD Half CC Extra Fine Longs.
All I'm saying is please try to understand... some people just can't stop shooting; even if it is dangerous to their health.
Please, no high and mighty replies to this post.
I'm just trying to express my obviously flawed reverence for the syringe.
Exactly man... same thing with smoking cigarettes for me! They need to make up like a fake syringe for tricking you into thinking your shooting up like they do with nicotine inhailers. Wait, thats sort of like shooting up cooking wine or gin.
Banging dope has no substitute (ie-speifically heroin or hydromorphone). SWIM used to use the veins in SWIMs feet. Gravity has a way of increasing venous pressure, and no one sees the tracks. If the vein rolls, catch it from the side with a sharp (ie-never used), small gauge (ie 29 - 30 which is insulin syringe) and use very gentle pressure, since once it punches in, it can easily come out the other end. If SWIY misses, move on to another vein and hold it off for a good amount of time rather than continuing to fish around. Cotton ball and bandage tape applied tightly does the trick to prevent hematomas.
Most veins, once scarred to the point of collapse, never come back. At that point, yer screwed unless you get real creative or high risk. Then again, your habit will have pretty much destroyed you at that point.
Lastly, start as far away from the heart as possible, and work SWIYs way up.
Better yet, divorce the needle before she takes you for all you're worth and leaves you for another with better veins, more stamina and more money! Your habit will always be your undoing once you start to spike. No one can escape that downward spiral for long, though many think they could...
Take it from some SWIM who'se been there..
SWIM used to have a lot of misses because of this problem coupled with of things like anticipation jitters , with drawal (if it's been too long) need to get it done asap and the likes. totally understand the addiction to the needle too! SWIM'd say quit while your still young but SWIM knows the futility in that statement. Try the elastic tourniquet just above injection site. It always helped control the roll for SWIM. As to small veins ? good luck, SWIM'S are still f"d up. Years later. He can't even have blood drawn easily anymore.
SWIM finds that the veins that roll are the ones with lots of "slack" in them, i.e. hands or feet. He'll look to stretch said veins, like moving from hands to back of wrists and bending hand forward, in order to decrease likeliness of roll.
Normal suggestions after that: use a good tie, slight exercise to increase blood flow or hot shower and especially a fresh, new needle.
Also, when SWIM misses to the right or left because of roll, he'll rotate the needle as necessary and attempt to enter the vein from the side. This is a dicey suggestion, and before it one should probably consider skipping IV administratin all together. But if SWIY chooses to persist, this works for SWIM on rolling veins.
Try it right out of a hot shower or place a hot towel on it. It should make the veins stick out.
Of course, you only have a limited amount of veins and you see the amount steadily decreasing. I think you know where this is headed. Learn some proper injection techniques. Google for 'getting off right'