shooting up in the palms? why?

  1. I've had two patients admitted recently for I&Ds of the hand. Both were early 20s and shooting drugs into the palms of their hands. Both also had very pretty veins in their arms. Anyone know why they are using their palms instead of veins? This second one will be lucky if he gets to keep his finger. Gross.
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    About all4ofus

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 99; Likes: 46
    RN; from US


  3. by   pockunit
    Harder to spot tracks on the palms, I'd guess. So they're doing IM? That's gonna lead to a lot of fibrotic tissue, I bet.
  4. by   all4ofus
    They both had these obvious little holes all over their palms, I suppose because of the fact that they're shooting this junk straight into the tissue so they don't close well. Patient 1 came down hard and slept through my shift. Refused to answer any questions. Patient 2 is in denial. So I don't really know what the deal is. One of my coworkers said they have a reason they do it in their palms and there's a name for it, but she didn't remember either the reason or the name, lol.
  5. by   missladyrn
    It is easier to hide. I have also seen a lot of people shoot up in their feet. In my area, heroin is the drug of choice. Some people use up all the other veins and get scar tissue making it harder to hit, so they keep moving around. We saw one lady who shot up in her face.
  6. by   Ruas61
    I just shuddered at the thought of needling your hand to give yourself recreational drugs. :uhoh21:
    Last edit by Ruas61 on Mar 8, '12 : Reason: add
  7. by   DemonWings
    I had a patient once that had a nasty infection from IV drugs, surgeon said he tells all his patients with this particular problem that they should take the needle off and shoot the heroin (or drug of choice) into their anus, he said it is so vascular that they get a pretty good high off it without getting those nasty infections. He said it was called anal bumping. Not exactly an answer to the question, but I thought it was interesting that the surgeon readily gave advise on alternative ways to shoot up.
  8. by   pockunit
    I think it's great that he's acknowledging that they're probably gonna keep doing it, so why not try to reduce at least some of the risk factors.

    And honestly? I NE.VER. would have thought of that. Gawd, the things you learn in medicine . . .
  9. by   newtress
    Now that the per rectal route has been mentioned here, I remembered reading and seeing some tv coverage on the subject of young folks now engaging in beer and 80 proof liqour being used much like an enema. They say it absolutely gets them drunk without the belly bloat from the beer or the burn down the throat drinking it straight. I certainly can understand the rational the surgeon has and the alternate way to get drunk, but wouldn't engaging in this long term cause some serious damage to the mucous membrane lining?
  10. by   That Guy
    Not that I would but I could hit some great veins in my hands so I could see why they go there.
  11. by   nurse_kimbo
    Things are absorbed more rapidly when taken rectally. They could OD quickly, why would anyone suggest that? Maybe I'm just out of the loop on this, but I was under the impression that this was incredibly taboo since the guy died when his wife gave him the sherry enema?
  12. by   beckster_01
    Do you think that heroin would get absorbed more rapidly PR than IV though? I have heard of campaigns to distribute clean needles and teach people how to inject safely in the name of risk reduction. They showed us a clip of a documentary in nursing school about it, the movie was called "Bevel Up." This nurse's job was to teach risk reduction to addicts on the street, do HIV testing, etc. I never watched the whole movie, but thought it was an interesting topic.
  13. by   Gold_SJ
    I'm undecided on what level of information is helpful and preventative risk and what information encourages risky behaviour (like I don't particularly like the anal bumping suggestion, I'd be interested to hear if it is less dangerous? Sounds less dangerous than IV injection but more so than IM injection. All the same I'm assuming he was more concerned on saving fingers for the kids in the future.)

    We had patients injecting inside their eyelids, by pulling down their lower lids and inject inside so there was no visible evidence. Common elsewhere? Don't have the widest experience when it comes to addictions/common vs uncommon sites.
  14. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from all4ofus
    one of my coworkers said they have a reason they do it in their palms and there's a name for it, but she didn't remember either the reason or the name, lol.
    skin-popping, perhaps?

    skin popping - wikipedia, the free encyclopedia