Monday, October 29, 2012


Desperate Addicts Inject Others’ Blood

It seems to me that the tiny amount of opiate in a sample of blood drawn into a syringe would not be significant.  The effect is probably psychological, although the astute reader will not be surprised by this.  Placebo injects have been shown to help with withdrawal sickness and the psychological makeup of the user, along with the conditions they are detoxing in, has significant effect on the severity of the acute withdrawal.

I like the quote at the end of the article, "What are they thinking?"

I don't presume to know the reasons for "flashblooding," but I think they are thinking along the same lines of opiate users who share syringes, namely get me out of this agony NOW.  Society already labels drug users as worthless, many internalize this mentality and don't care what happens to their health as they pursue heroin.  Many probably simply accept an early grave as an inevitable consequence of opiate addiction.  Sad. 

McCurdy, S. A., Ross, M. W., Williams, M. L., Kilonzo, G. P. and Leshabari, M. T. (2010), Flashblood: blood sharing among female injecting drug users in Tanzania. Addiction, 105: 1062–1070. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.02908.x [Abstract]


  1. This is just another negative consequence of prohibition. It comes partly from people being very uneducated about drugs, as all we are ever "taught" about drugs is disinformation or propaganda. Most people who are truly educated about drugs and their use have learned the facts for themselves, mostly through extensive reading.

    As I have directly experienced through my many years as an opioid user, most of what people "know" about opioids, and drugs in general, is what they have learned, either from propaganda or their fellow users. And what their fellow users tell them is mostly myth, rumors, or misinformation. "Flashblooding" is just another example of this. It's:an unfounded assumption based on a rudimentary understanding of drugs and their effects, and myths like this are perpetuated because there are few authority figures to combat them. There are countless more myths such as this, and some of them are equally pernicious.

    1. What is also interesting is that those who know better, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, chemists, ect who are also drug users are largely silent. The stigma associated with being dependent on opiates causes users to hide their use and "pass" as non-users as much as possible, which only exacerbates the misinformation. Part of my motivation in starting this blog is to push back against this propaganda. It may be small in scope, but the cumulative effect of all of us working together does have an impact.

  2. Yeah, combating the propaganda and misinformation is one of the reasons that I'm involved with this as well. Right now, I'm working on starting my own blog. I just have to decide whether it will be part of HH or not. As much as I'd be honored to have a side-blog on HH, I think I'm going to do it independently of HH, at least for a while.

    Part of the reason I don't want to do it on HH yet is that I don't know if I'll be able to focus solely on drugs and prohibition type content. Although that will be covered frequently, I'm more interested in doing a more general science/politics/skepticism blog. It would be more comparable to Frankly Curious, but with a lot more coverage of the drug war.

    Hopefully I'll like doing it and be able to generate content that is worth reading.

    1. Please let me know when you do start your blog, wherever it will be located. I have found that while your audience is small, the freedom to write what you want when you want is liberating and even enjoyable. I had low expectations at first, but as the site is (slowly) coming together I am pleased with the result (although it still needs a lot of work). I have been averaging about 15-20 pageviews daily which isn't bad as I have not spread the word about its existence beyond the comments on HH. When the blog has more articles and original content I'll try promoting it more.

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