Never Share Shit Campaign

Urban Survivors Union is working to develop a communication campaign to be used in places where people that use drugs will see the information.  We know that we must reach drug users early on in their drug use, before they start injecting or they will become infected with Hepatitis C.  Most people contract Hepatitis C in the first two years they begin injecting drugs.

  1.  Remember that smoking is always safer than injecting!  ALWAYS-  if your syringe exchange does not provide smoking kits please reach out to us.  We will send you a smoking kit and we will send your exchange information about why they should provide smoking kits.
  2. Injecting drugs requires a skill set most people must learn.  There is a movie below that will show you the proper way to inject drugs.  Even if you are super careful, it is super dangerous so…BE CAREFUL.
    1. Rinse out with water for 30 seconds pull unused water all the way through the syringe 3x (make sure you fill the syringe full of water all the way to top). DUMP OUT WATER- or throw away this cup of waterNever share anything.  This is the safest and most effective way to stay safe from Hepatitis C.  It is a sturdy virus 10x more infectious than HIV.  Around a million copies of a HCV virus can live in one milliliter of blood. It is not hard to become infected with Hepatitis C.  If you do not have a new syringe for every injection you my friend are in a Jam:                                                                                                   I’m in a Jam…..

      So, one thing you can do is clean a syringe out with bleach.  It is important to note that bleach does not kill the hepatitis C virus easily, there is a process that must be followed to ensure that you have adequately killed the virus and created a safer situation for either you or the person you are going to share a syringe with.  THIS DOES NOT MAKE THIS A COMPLETELY RISK-FREE SITUATION BUT IT IS MUCH BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE.  The more careful you are following these instructions the more likely you can avoid a negative outcome.

       

      USING ALL CLEAN ITEMS: I do not have a new syringe and I am either not sure if the syringe I am going to reuse is mine or I am sure it is someone else’s or someone needs to use my syringe.

    2. Pour straight bleach into a different cup (one that no one else has used, be careful putting it in a cup that you use to draw your drugs from, it would be terrible for you or someone else to think the bleach was water and use it to make a shot.  This could result in tragedy.


    NOW with a NEW CUP OF WATER pull water up through the rig 3 more times and shake for 30 seconds.
    You can make this more effective by taking the rig apart and soaking the set for at the very least 30 seconds.  Repeat this step 3 times 

     

    Some things to consider to either prevent infecting others, infecting or reinfecting yourself

    1. If you are shooting stimulants and are taking a number of shots  with a couple of people syringes, cuppies, and water can easily get mixed up.  Make sure that you are staying in your area.  We suggest using placemats or something that shows what your area is therefore items won’t get mixed up. 
    2. Have a biohazard container so people can throw away their trash immediately. Old syringes and supplies laying around are just a bad idea in general. 
    3. You are injecting drugs. You should be washing your area, your hands, and your injection site a lot.
    4. If it is hard for you to find a spot to inject in, then it is really important to have a towel or something to clean your arm or site and stop the bleeding. IF you have tried a lot of different areas you can easily become very bloody very quickly.
    5. Nothing is more dangerous than frustration. When people struggle to hit a vein and it begins to take a very long time, frustration often sets in.  Bad decisions get made, a person might just pick up a syringe off the table if theirs gets clogged from coagulated blood.
    6. If you have a shot you started missing and it has blood in it, add some water to prevent it from coagulating this will help preserve the shot so you don’t feel you need to rush so much.
    7. Once you have taken the backs off the bottom / Do not put them back together, this can look like a new rig. It is best to re cap the top but leave the bottom piece off of all used rigs. (at the very least have a system)
    8. Always use safe practices and get in good habits, even if you are usually by yourself or with your partner. You never know when you will be in a new or different situation and If you are not practicing safe injection rituals then you are more likely going to make unsafe moves, even if you are thinking about being safe. 
    9. Turn SAFTEY into your RITUAL. The more you do something the more natural it will become.  Once we cross lines, it becomes easy to

    COMMUNICATE, Have a Harm Reduction Plan

    Make sure everybody know’s the house safe injection rules.

    Pull Bleach all the way to the top rinse all the way through at least 3 times and shake it up and around in the bleach for at least 30 seconds. (1 and 2 and 3 and 4…….) It is easy to be sloppy about this especially if you are not well. Get support from whoever you are with or just keep telling yourself it will just be a few more seconds….you have already waited this long, THIS WAIT IS WORTH IT!

So What is Hepatitis C

HEPATITIS C

Hepatitis C a disease of the liver.  Hepatitis C is a huge concern for people that use drugs or are in recovery from substance misuse.  Too many people do not know the basics about Hepatitis!  So here are the basics:

Hepatitis just means:  Inflammation of the liver but when you hear about hepatitis and drug use people are probably talking about viral hepatitis.  That is hepatitis with a letter behind it!  Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C….

HEPATITIS C IS A VIRUS YOU GET FROM BLOOD blood 1

Hepatitis C is a sturdy virus that stays alive outside of the body!  NEVER SHARE YOUR SYRINGES OR SUPPLIES!!  Supplies include: cottons, cookers, tourniquets, water, spoon, all of your equipment could potentially be contaminated with the HCV virus.  NEVER SHARE SHIT!

It is important to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B because you can get very sick if you have HCV and get either A or B. There are crazy high rates of HCV in injection drug using populations.  Some of the stats suggest that up to 75% of  injection drug users IDU’s are infected with hepatitis C, and they become infected in the first two years of injection.

Get Vaccinated  for Heaptitis A and B at your local health department. There is no vaccine for C but there is some very effective treatment!  These days the treatment is 90% effective! (Great News)

HEPATITIS A-   A stands for ASS- you get HAV from getting poop in your mouth! So you could get Hepatitis A from tossin’ salads or eating food prepared by someone who did not wash their hands after a trip to the bathroom!  Get a vaccine at your local health department!

HEPATITIS B-  B Stands for Booty- you get HBV from sex!  Cum and blood!  There is a vaccine for B.  You can get one at your local health department if you do not have one!

HEPATITIS C- C Stands for cooker HCV- you get HCV from blood but it stays alive up to 2 weeks highly infectious so your cookers are potentially dangerous.  Some research shows that sharing a cooker that is used by more than one person is just as dangerous as sharing a syringe.

Don’t share crack pipes, don’t share snorting supplies, don’t share syringes cottons, cookers, don’t share SHIT! Anything that could be contaminated with blood you don’t share.

 

RESOURCES:

HELP-4-HEP (hepatitis C helpline)

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