Rules of Use

General information

  • Hepatitis viruses A, B and C are more easily transmitted and more widespread than the HIV virus, for example.
  • If the rules of use given below are strictly followed, the spreading of hepatitis and of other infections directly related to drug use can be limited to a significant extent, and infection can be avoided with a high degree of certainty.
  • Drug users must also become sensitized to so-called blood awareness. Blood – even dried blood, even in the tiniest amounts – can be fundamentally contaminated and must therefore always be treated as infectious.
    ➞ Fact sheet on „blood awareness“.
  • The rules of use are to be communicated to clients in an appropriate manner and with suitable emphasis. Drug users should also be encouraged to follow these rules when away from the supervised consumption rooms.
    ➞ Fact sheet on injection

Intravenous drug use

  • Only with one’s own, new, sterile syringes, needles and filters and using thoroughly cleaned equipment (water containers and spoons).
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after any use of drugs.
  • Transferring by either frontloading or backloading only with one’s own, new, sterile syringes, needles and filters each time.
  • Water containers and spoons must be washed very thoroughly. Pathogens, which can remain infectious for a long time, can get stuck on them following multiple uses.
  • Any type of filter should only be used once. This also applies to cases where there may still be some of the drug left in the filter (no “cotton shots“). Used filters contain blood residue, which are often home to viruses and large cultures of bacteria, which reproduce rapidly especially at body temperature (e.g. when the filter is carried in a trouser pocket).

The fundamental rule is: always use your own, sterile equipment if injecting or inhaling!

Smoking

  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after any use of drugs.
  • No shared use of pipes for inhaling (risk of injury).
  • When “freebasing”, do not share pipes, and use your own mouthpiece.
  • When “freebasing”, use sodium bicarbonate

The fundamental rule is: the Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted by smoking!

Snorting

  • Disinfect the surface on which the lines will be prepared.
  • Make sure to use your own tube or straw when inhaling or snorting drugs and do not share it.
  • Never use rolled up bank notes.
  • If a snorting person has injured nasal mucosa, then the tube or straw (even rolled up bank note) that he or she uses can become contaminated with blood, which could contain the hepatitis B or C viruses. These viruses can be transmitted to anyone sharing the tube, straw or bank note.

The fundamental rule is: the Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted by snorting!

Disposal of the materials for drug use

All materials used for drug use must be disposed of quickly and in the safest possible manner.

Non-sharps
Used swabs or pads, filters, etc. must be disposed of in a container intended for this purpose.

Sharps
Medical settings
(including the consumption rooms):
   Following injections outside of supervised
(consumption rooms):
Sharps 1    Sharps 2
Do not replace the plastic cap on a used cannula (needle). Cannulas together with the syringes must be able to be disposed of on-site in punctureproof, unbreakable containers.    Always replace the plastic cap on a used cannula and dispose of it together with the syringe in sturdy containers (e.g. empty aluminum cans) and dispose of the whole thing in the normal manner with the other refuse.