Crystal methamphetamine smoking is associated with many negative health consequences, including the potential for transmission of hepatitis. We examined whether or not a kit for crystal methamphetamine smoking might have some potential to reduce the negative health effects of crystal methamphetamine smoking.
Reduce your risk of burns, infections, disease, overdose, nutrition problems and dehydration
Smoking any illegal drug is risky because you can never know for sure what’s in it or how it was made. But there are also risks involved in how you smoke. Here are some ways to reduce those risks.
Know your dealer. It’s best to choose someone you feel safe with and who knows about the drugs they sell.
Take vitamins or eat something. You may not feel like eating when high.
Find a buddy. Using alone means no one will be there to help you if you overdose.
Find a safe place. Being relaxed and not in a hurry makes smoking easier and therefore safer.
Bring condoms and lube with you. Stimulant drugs can increase your sex drive.
Clean your hands and your own mouthpiece. Use soap and water or alcohol swabs to wash away germs that could go in your mouth.
To reduce risk…
Start with a small amount. If you don’t know how strong the drug is, this can help reduce your risk of overdose.
Use your own mouthpiece or pipe. This will help you avoid getting or spreading infection.
Use a shatterproof Pyrex pipe. Other pipes can get too hot or give off toxic fumes.
Avoid using broken or cracked pipes. Damaged pipes can lead to burns, cuts and infections.
Drink water, use lip balm and chew gum. These things will help keep your mouth moist and reduce cracks, blisters and risk of infection.
Make sure the drug is in the right part of the pipe bowl. If necessary, tap pipe gently.
Avoid burning your fingers. Hold the pipe halfway down the stem.
Apply heat to the bowl. Keep the heat source moving around until smoke fills the pipe (so the bowl won’t crack).
Use screens instead of Brillo (steel wool). Brillo can break apart and be inhaled, and its coating can make you sick.
Pack five screens into your pipe. This is safest. If you prefer, it’s okay to wrap the brass screens completely around the Brillo and use them together as a screen.
Use a wooden push stick. Wood is less likely than metal to damage the pipe.
Inhale slowly. This will help prevent burning your lungs.
Exhale immediately. Holding it in doesn’t make the effects stronger—it only hurts the lungs more.
Handle the pipe with care. It’ll be hot after using it.
Crystal Meth Pipe
Changing pipe sharing behaviours may be difficult because many participants considered sharing to be integral to the social experience of smoking crystal methamphetamine. Within the context of a broader health promotion and prevention program, pilot testing of safer smoking kits to initiate discussion and education on the risks associated with sharing pipes and unprotected sex for some communities (e.g., homeless/street-involved youth) is worth pursuing.
preferred by people who use crystal meth due to the bubble at the end. Provision of meth pipes reduces the use of harmful homemade pipes that may produce toxic fumes or the use of glass stems blown into a thin bubble pipe that may break or shatter during use.
To the untrained eye, meth looks like the cheap crystals you might find in a local New Age shop. Most users ingest it by injection or smoking.
To inject meth, users crush the crystals and cook them in a metal vessel until the crystals dissolve into a liquid. Users then draw the liquid into a syringe and inject it into either veins or—for heavy IV users whose veins are collapsed—muscle tissue.
Smoking meth is easier: Crush and put it in a pipe, then use a lighter to vaporize it into smoke. Smoking is the safer method, because it takes longer to hit the user’s bloodstream and brain.
Ingesting too much meth too quickly can lead to “over-amping,” a street term for meth-induced psychosis.
“They’d rather smoke than inject because it is less likely to cause over-amping,” says Justine Pope, a volunteer with the Portland People’s Outreach Project who spends her Saturdays handing out clear glass meth pipes, called “bubblers,” to users in the St. Johns neighborhood.
Pope says PPOP embraces a “harm reduction” approach to the meth problem: If people are going to use the drug, she’d rather they do it in the safest way possible, and have access to clean needles if they choose injection.