In movies and TV you see heroin users insert a needle, pull blood out, and then inject. 1. Is that how people really do it, and 2 why do they mix blood first?

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In movies and TV you see heroin users insert a needle, pull blood out, and then inject. 1. Is that how people really do it, and 2 why do they mix blood first?

In: Biology

They pull out blood to make sure they caught a vein, and letting the blood and heroin mix together is supposed to improve the high.

you draw back on the syringe to make sure you’ve gotten a vein. if you did, you’ll see blood. if you didn’t, you just got muscle or tendon (ouch!), and you don’t want to inject it in anything other than a vein.

I was a medic for 2 years.

To make sure the needle is inside the vein.
If the needle was inside muscle or fat, there would not be enough blood to come out.
If you tried to put a lot of stuff there, you could get hurt, it’s going to be painful, and the stuff will take a long time to affect you as all the stuff is stuck in that place and not flowing around the body.

Many (most?) needles have a tiny chamber built in that fills with blood if you hit the vein. So you don’t even need to pull on the syringe.
The pressure of the vein is usually enough, often they tie a rubber band on the arm to make it pop up and increase the pressure further.

This also happens for both the thing you plug in a vacuum tube for taking blood samples, and the thing they use to put in large amounts of fluids.
So medically, “mixing the blood” has little to do with it.

Was a heroin addict, can confirm that it’s done to ensure you’re in a vein. If not, you risk hitting a muscle or a tendon and that shit burns your whole arm.

So if you are doing that to make sure you are in a vein…

Do people trying to hide their usage, not go into webbing of their toes? Or are their large enough veins there to get it into the circulatory system?

It’s called aspirating, you’re checking to make sure you’re in a vein. Nurses used to do this too, but current best practices actually recommend not aspirating (the slight benefit is outweighed by the slightly higher chance of causing damage by moving the needle around).

Wait what? That’s just the pressure difference on display for dramatic effect isn’t it? I’ve never heard of anyone intentionally doing that.

Its to ensure the needle is in a vein. Medical professionals do the same thing when inserting an IV cannula.

It’s just to make sure they’re in a vein and aren’t about to shove a syringe of heroin into their muscle/skin/tendons/etc and then get sepsis