Cotton fever, the nightmarish side effect of IV drug use that makes you feel like your bones have been replaced with fire ants, is not something anyone wants to deal with. While there’s no foolproof way to avoid it altogether—and we encourage all readers to seek treatment for addiction and find non-injectable ways of getting high when possible—we’ve rounded up a few tips on how best to prevent cotton fever in case you do end up using needles.
What Is Cotton Fever?
Before diving into prevention methods, let's first understand what cotton fever is. The term "cotton fever" refers to symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea and vomiting that sometimes occur after using drugs intravenously. It occurs in users who inject opioids or other substances dissolved in water through unsterile filters made from cotton used to prepare the substance.
Know Your Gear
If you’re an avid IV user (note: we do NOT endorse IV drug use; get help if you are struggling), take some time before injection preparing your materials thoroughly — clean needle included (reuse equals higher risk). Make sure everything looks proper:
- New needle.
- Unopened syringe.
- Clean container for mixing drugs.
- Sterilized spoon if heating powder form drug.
Also employ extra care when handling your filters which should be thoroughly sterilized beforehand.
“It’s a classic mistake among those who haven’t done their research,” warns Dr John Johnson at Yale School of Medicine.
Occasionally bleach out different areas or alcoholic clean target spots immediately upon noticing any discoloration or staining due to blood or debris within injection sites/gear. Use sterile fluids only! Consider purchasing pre-packaged kit sets specifically sold online designed for cleaning purposes prior rehearse best hygiene practices often.
Needle Safety 101
Aprecautionevery user must know - recycle or reuse supplies such as syringes, needles or cotton swabs at your own risk. Every time they are reused the probability of contamination increases exponentially. So just don’t!
After a shot, always take proper disposal measures like :
- Put needle and syringe into an FDA-approved container.
- Use bleach to sterilize the leftover drug solution in any containers you've used.
Ask for cleaning kits from pharmacists every chance you get before an injection is performed (note: these shots will not contain drugs). Use accessory pills often espoused by Drug Users Union that seek to reduce pain/ discomfort after IV consumption.
Education Beyond Cotton Fever
Drugs can trigger some pretty odd side effects on human bodies, including but certainly not limited to other diseases beyond cotton fever. Here’s what we know:
- From heroin abuse: constipation leading to blocked bowels called obstipation
- Abscess formation sometimes due contaminated catheter use
- Blood poisoning from user-generated impurities (occurs more so with meth rather than opiates)
All this doesn't even begin touching base about risks related vein loss through improper technique during shooting up (suggesting once again; seek medical help when suggested).
Avoid reusing needles and same-time following hygiene practices prior action may be taken by purchasing best materials available according online reviews sourced. Raise awareness among peers who also choose injecting substances via organizing around events near local community centers aimed educating common options aside adding onto your home & accessing hypo-swedge feed stores within reach!
Attending Regular Check-Ups
Hepatitis C virus has been historically common among former drug users & those continuing with their addictions today tend run significant odds infecting viral strains inside bloodstreams entering one's from shared gear/network fluids containing unknown pathogens otherwise ineffective alone sterilization efforts reduce risk group susceptibility contracted conditions.
“It's estimated that nearly 80% of IV drug users have HCV and yet many remain unaware they're infected,” warns Dr Jonathan Stimpe, Chicago Medical Center.
Therefore it cannot be stressed enough the importance of maintaining routine medical visits as well as being conscious about preventative measures discussion with specialist physicians surrounding illness confirmation testing or inquiring regarding vaccine options available against deadly diseases (note: there is a substantial price range attached).
Sign up for free needle exchange programs (check your state’s availability) which are operated by a handful of local health clinics spread throughout the country. Attempt limit contact using shared equipment between multiple members since these places attract frequent goers.
Prevention is always better than cure & essential to your overall well-being especially if you possess addictive behaviors predisposing yourself towards intravenous injection routes. As stated earlier, seek help from community health organizations & addiction centers when required.
So break out those fresh needles folks and get ready for a more SAFE HIGH!