I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet at the moment (for any of you that have met me, I’m sure that mental image is a great one). This happens a lot, I get very focused on one area of advice and hammer it home in everyone I see. This week it’s convincing people to take enough needles, and making sure they have spare.
I’ve been playing online a bit lately with the Wolfram Alpha search engine. The service isn’t a search engine like Yahoo or Google, but it instead searches sites for infomation and statistics that match your criteria and puts together a page of its own.
Although Wolfram is a bit twitchy it's still in its early stages of development. It did come up with some interesting information that has got me thinking about HepB.
OK let’s get one thing straight before we start. I’m not obsessive about returns and I don’t think needle programmes should be as focused on them as most seem to be, but we live in the real world. A world where people become really angry when someone dumps used works near their home/school/shop/park. Because of this exchanges come under pressure to limit the equipment they give out.
Spot injecting is when steroid injectors inject into a smaller muscle (ie not the glute or thigh). Eg injecting into the deltoid. When you ask people why they are doing this you’ll get an answer along the lines of, “I want to get my arms bigger”. A basic understanding of the human body will tell you that this isn’t how it works.
I’m quite a liberal NSP worker at heart; I’m happy to work with clients to get to where they want, how they want and at their own pace. That of course doesn’t mean I don’t do my best to get people thinking about reducing or stopping, but if they are going to inject I’ll work with them to do it as safely as possible. But today was one of those very rare times that I say to someone, “Look mate, just stop injecting”.
A young woman came into the exchange saying she was having a lot of problems with finding a vein, but during the conversation she mentioned that normally her partner injects her. So what are the health issues around letting someone else inject you, and more importantly what are the legal implications both for the injector and for the needle exchange worker.