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Equipment and sharing

It’s important to get the right equipment, and never to share it. Here’s what to do.


Use surgical swabs to clean the part of the body you plan to inject into (and swab after injecting too) to keep the area clean – or at least make sure you have soap and warm water to wash the area.

Know where to get clean injecting equipment and take back used equipment (you can do this at needle exchange programmes, some sexual health or GUM clinics, drug agencies and some chemists.

If you’re in London, the Burrell St clinic gives away free safer slamming packs.

You can also buy clean injecting equipment online.


  • The temptation to share is often strongest when coming down from the drug, not before taking it.
  • Sharing with people you feel close to may feel safer – it’s not. Infections can easily spread between friends and lovers.
  • Have one container per slam – drawing up drugs from a shared one can risk contamination with infections like hepatitis C when the needle is dipped back in.
  • Don’t let one swab be used by different people – minute traces of blood on it can also spread hepatitis C.
  • Use fresh gloves for each person receiving an injection. Latex gloves worn for protection can still carry tiny amounts of infected blood between people if the person wearing them injects more than one person.

Next: Preparing to inject ››

‹‹ Previous: Safer slamming – The basics

Published: 30/08/2018
Next review: 30/08/2021