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Crack-heroin speedball injection and its implications for vein care: qualitative study. (Rhodes T et

Crack-heroin speedball injection and its implications for vein care: qualitative study. (Rhodes T et

  1. ThirdEyeFloond
    Addiction. 2007 Nov;102(11):1782-90
    Rhodes T, Briggs D, Kimber J, Jones S, Holloway G

    ABSTRACT
    Background We report on an exploratory qualitative study investigating drug injectors’ narratives of vein damage
    and groin (femoral vein) injection associated with the injection of crackheroin speedball. Methods We undertook 44
    in-depth qualitative interviews among injectors of crackheroin speedball in Bristol and London, England, in 2006.
    Findings The data suggest an emerging culture of crack-based speedball injection. Injectors’ narratives link speedball
    injection with shifts towards groin injection articulated as an acceptable risk, and not merely as a last resort in the face
    of increased vein deterioration associated with speedball. Accounts of vein damage linked to speedball emphasize
    ‘missed hits’ related to the local anaesthetic action of crack, the excess use of citric in the preparation of speedball
    injections and ‘flushing’ when making a hit.We find that groin injection persists despite an awareness of health risks
    and medical complications. Conclusions We emphasize 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.
    There is an additional need for interventions to promote safer groin and speedball injecting as well as to prevent
    transitions toward groin and crack injection.