As drug users grapple with an increasingly toxic drug supply, some are receiving training on how to shoot up properly and achieve the high they’re seeking.
“What we learned really quickly when we started working with people who use drugs is that everything they learn about drug use generally comes from their peers, the Internet, TV, movies, and it’s all wrong,” said Kailin See, senior director of OnPoint NYC, which runs New York’s safe injection sites, also known as drug consumption sites.
“You can’t go to your medical doctor and say, ‘I’m really trying to achieve X, Y, and Z physical feeling or X, Y, and Z emotional feeling through my drug use’.”
While people generally think of drug consumption sites as places that people go to use drugs and have their overdoses reversed if needed, these facilities often offer a range of services, including checking drugs for contaminants, wound care, and injection tutorials.
And injecting drugs properly has only become more important as overdoses reach record highs and drugs like tranq, a combination of fentanyl and the animal sedative xylazine that’s been linked to skin ulcers and amputations, continue to spread across the U.S. Knowing what to do can also help empower younger drug users, women and queer people, who might find themselves particularly vulnerable in certain situations.