Notes on use by drug users for the injection of illicit drugs
10ml barrels are sometimes used for injecting diluted concentrated methadone ampoules.
Prescribed injectors with an ‘awkward’ volume of injectable methadone – such as 2 x 35mg/5ml might use a 10ml barrel.
Some injectors attempting to inject oral methadone or crushed tablets may also request larger barrels.
Injectors undertaking “batch preparation” prior to sharing with others may also prepare all the drug in a large barrel.
Cautions / Harm Reduction Advice
Requests for any large barrel should prompt a discussion as to how it will be used. There are a number of reasons that might be given, and the responses to them are below.
Steroid injectors who say they need a 10ml syringe to inject a large stack –
should be advised to not put more than 2ml in to a single site; while it can all be drawn in to a single large barrel, a fresh sterile needle should be used for each injection.
Opiate users who want to inject oral methadone –
should be advised that it is highly damaging and should be strongly discouraged, especially if they are planning to inject into the femoral vein.
Those wanting a large syringe to facilitate the injection of tablets –
should be advised that this practice is often damaging to veins, and should be discouraged. If tablets are injected they should be properly filtered to remove as much filler and binder as possible.
It is possible that someone might request a 10ml syringe for dividing up drugs in situations where batch preparation of drugs is taking place –
this should lead to a discussion of the blood borne virus risks of batch preparation, and sharing through front or back loading. Injectors should all know that it is imperative that used syringes are not used to measure the drugs, and that used syringes are not used to draw up from a shared spoon. In addition, it is important that each item in the process is clean or sterile and has not come in to contact with blood – so sterile cooker, water, acid and filter should be used, and drawn up in to a sterile syringe. Otherwise multiple recipients maybe exposed to the risk of blood borne virus transmission.