How do we understand drug use? How are drugs related to our social worlds? How should drug use be understood, approached and dealt with? Insightful and illuminating, this book successfully discusses drugs in social contexts. In an elegant manner, the authors bring together their different theoretical and practical backgrounds, offering a comprehensive and interdisciplinary introduction that opens up a wide scientific understanding moving beyond cultural myths and presuppositions. Powerful and engaging, this book discusses main questions within the field of psychoactive drugs research, such as: Why do people take drugs? How do we understand moral panics? What is the relationship between drugs and violence? How do people's social positions influence their individual involvement in drug use? This is an invaluable reference source for students on criminology, sociology and social sciences programmes, as well as students and drug service practitioners in social work, social policy and nursing.
Chapter 23: Injecting Drug Use
Psychoactive drugs can be consumed in different ways, including swallowing, smoking, snorting/sniffing, inhaling vapours and injecting. The various ways that people take drugs are collectively known as routes or methods of administering drugs. Injecting drug use (IDU) is the process whereby drugs are injected into a vein (intravenous), muscle (intramuscular) or beneath the skin (subcutaneous; ‘skin popping’).
The hypodermic syringe was invented in Edinburgh in 1853 as a means to facilitate pain relief; injecting a drug generally reaches the brain more quickly than other methods of administration. Use of the hypodermic syringe spread to the USA and other countries shortly thereafter. The availability of medicinal morphine administered through injection led to large-scale addiction in some countries in the late 1800s. During ...