Making Veins Pop!

Making Veins POP

So, I recently did something really stupid while trying to get that precious shot of junk into my body. My veins were shot from overuse and I OneUsewas having problems trying to find a vein to register for days. I’m sure this is a nightmare that plagues many IV drug users. I’ve literally spent hours at a time trying to find a vein, blood everywhere, arms and feet swollen and aching, perhaps even bruising on your neck. This time was just like that. Until I found a pulsing vein in my left pointer finger. I wish I could say this was the first time that I had attempted to go there, but it wasn’t. So I knew the risk ahead of time. I had made it there before, but the percentage of success has been low, so I knew the risks. But I was desperate to make the shot and, at this point, would try anything. So I made the plunge and stuck the needle in a tiny, tiny little vein. The vein itself was probably smaller than the 29 gauge needle I was using. But finally… I registered blood. But as soon as I gently pushed down on the plunger the whole area swelled up. I tried to register again, and nothing. With an exasperated sigh I pulled out and kept digging to get the remainder of the junk anywhere I could find, after having wasted the portion I inserted into my delicate finger. I know how stupid this all sounds, how pathetic and desperate. At the time I felt pathetic and desperate, especially since this struggle with my veins had been going on for days. I eventually found a working vein and was able to use it for a couple of days (another unsafe practice) but my body was able to heal where I had been relentless poking and prodding at it. When the swelling in my hand went down, I was able to see an abscess on my finger. UGH. And abscess on my finger?? That fucking sucks.

Since I’m a black tar heroin user, and an ex meth shooter, abscess are nothing new to me, and we take care of them ourselves at home, only going to the doctor when we don’t have antibiotics left. But still, any type of infection or injury shouldn’t be taken lightly when it comes to self-administered IV injections.

The lack of usable veins is nothing new to any experienced IV drug user. IMing is a good way too inject your drug without the hassle of having to find a vein. But of course this comes with risks too. Dirty needles pushed into your muscles can lead to extremely deep abscesses. And of course, for anyone who is used to the immediate rush of your drug of choice hitting your brain almost instantaneously with 100% bioavailability, it’s hard to give up. But when I have completely exhausted my veins, I try to take a break and settle for IMing for a few days to give my veins some time to heal. It’s easier said than done since the desire for that instant shot to your brain is so overpowering. But if you do have the willpower to go 4 or 5 days settling for 85% bioavailability, it’s amazing how fast your body can heal itself. Suddenly, you have veins again! It’s especially useful after shooting coke, when you are doing a shot every 15-20 minutes! But even with heroin, think of all the injections you are doing in a 5 day period, if you have any type of sizable daily habit. On an average day I do about 2 shots in the morning, at least 1 mid-day shot, and at least 2 in the evening. About 5 shots a day – minimum. Even when I have lighter days, I try to keep the same amount of shots, but use a smaller dose. On heavy days, it can be considerable more. But on a low-average that’s 25 shots in a 5 day period. Think of all the havoc that can wreak if you are using the same veins over and over again. When meth was in the picture the daily number was considerably higher, with the added danger of meth itself. It literally eats away at your veins and skin.

Since no IV drug user, myself included, wants to resort to IM shots, even for short periods of time, it’s best to proactively keep your veins healthy and fresh. There are a number of precautions you can take to keep your veins in top shooting shape. So I’ve put together some tips and tricks to help your veins “pop” as easily as possible. There is tons to write about safe shooting, but for the purposes of this blog, I’ll stick with how to easily access a vein and maintain vein health.

Preparing the Vein –

You want to make sure he vein is accessible and easy to shoot in, ie. there is a large amount of blood pumping through it, making it easy to hit. This helps keep injections to a minimum, you only have to puncture the skin once, avoiding all those repetitive attempts, which aren’t only dangerous but EXTREMELY frustrating.  I used to do a generic fist pump, which works okay, and I still do when I’m in a confined space like a car. But for people with more weathered veins, it doesn’t always do the trick. Pushup are another commonly known trick, and it works okay. But I don’t always find it the most effective. My SO taught me to swing my arm like a propeller. While this might look a little silly if you are fixing in the presence of company, it does get the blood pumping. I’ve seen this written about on multiple other safe shooting websites as well. One in particular, targeting meth IV users, says to swing your arm like a “propeller”. It has a cartoon that lists various other tricks and tips that are useful.

Harm Reduction-Meth Veins

So here is my list. Hopefully you will find some of these tricks helpful!

* Avoid cigarettes, as they tend to constrict your veins

* Stay warm – fix after a hot shower if necessary. If you are cold your veins will go in hiding. If you aren’t about to take a shower before you get your heroin in your, you can use a hot water pack and rest it on the desired area. Or simply run hot water on your body from the sink.

* Pump blood to the vein, be it fist pumping, propeller arms, pushups, anything to get blood moving to that area. I hop and skip when shooting in my feet/legs.

* Drinking coffee can help. Stimulants will get the heart pumping and widen the blood vessels, helping your veins pop out. (When I was experiencing vein difficulty, I used to shoot meth first, although that’s not recommend, lol). Coke, however, has he opposite effect since it is a vascular constrictor.

* Stay hydrated. Drinking water can actually help veins keep pumping.

* Slapping the vein. There is controversy over this technique. I’ve read online that it is a myth and doesn’t work. But I typically believe what I see, and countless times I have slapped the desired vein to help it pop out more, and low and behold, it works for me.

* Use a new needle. Yes, this is an obvious safe shooting practice in terms of hygiene. But I’m including it for vein health as well. A used needle will rip apart your veins, damaging them and making them inaccessible. I’ve included a picture of a needle before the first use, then after many uses. Just imagine that thing trying to pierce your veins. Using a fresh syringe will definitely help your veins say healthy and usable longer!

MakingVeinsPop (3)

* Last but not least, use a tourniquet. But beware that improper use can be extremely dangerous. You must be careful not to wrap it to tight or leave it on too long. You run the risk of blowing a vein. Proper use dictates that the tourniquet must be removed after you register and before you push the plunger down to prevent blowing a vein. However in full disclosure, this is something that I tend to overlook. But I have suffered consequences, damaging a vein in my ankle due to improper tourniquet use.

Using these tips, along with hygienic, clean, safe shooting practice will make the whole experience way more enjoyable. The other thing to keep in mind when picking a vein to shoot in is the location on the body. There is a hierarchy of safe shooting spots. I won’t go into details, but the order goes as follows:

1. Arms

2. Hands

3. Feet

4. Legs

5. Breasts

6. Armpit

7. Neck

8. Penis

9. Femoral Vein

Anything from #4 (Legs) down should be avoided. The legs are controversial, they aren’t really dangerous, unless you shoot into the wrong type of vein, and it isn’t always easy to decipher. So to error on the side of caution, I generally avoid my legs, until I’m desperate.

The last thing I’m going to touch on is damage due to repetitive use. Common sense should have told me not to shoot in my finger, and the same is true with overuse. Each time the needle penetrates the skin, and then the vein, you are doing damage. It might be imperceptible at first, but time after time it adds up. It’s something I struggle with every time I strap on a tourniquet. When you’ve killed all of your veins, and pickings are slim, it’s natural to hit one vein over and over again if you can actually register. But it can cause long term or permanent damage. Easier said than done, I know. But it is a good rule of thumb.

All I’ve covered here are tips for accessing and maintaining healthy veins. There is tons of more info out there on safe shooting tips. Here is a good resource to start with if you are interested in reading more about IV drug administration. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Bluelight is filled with good information and resources about all sorts of drug related issues. I frequent it regularly, and the people there are generally open minded. You can get answers to questions the rest of the Internet would just blast you for. Of course it still is the Internet, so don’t expect it to be completely slander free! Safe shooting everyone!!

Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll!


22 thoughts on “Making Veins Pop!

    • I know right?! Do you slam meth too? When I quit meth my arms immediately got better. I haven’t had an abscessed since I was alternating meth/heroin shots every two hours. Even black tars fine for your veins, as long as you don’t tweek. And use a fresh needle each time! I never reuse anymore. I use a fresh one each and every time. Wednesdays are two-for-one at the needle exchange. The last two times I went it I picked up 1,400 needles! Funny how they still seem to go so fast….


  1. I feel ya. That’s the worst for your veins. But once you get a taste for that rush, there’s no other option but to slam. Fuck the pookie. I feel like I’ve got one more working vein left and after that I don’t know what I’m going to do.


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    • Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. No one has ever said anything about this to me before. I’ll do some checking and make sure my content is optimized for all browsers. I want to make sure anyone who visits my blog has an easy and enjoyable experience reading it. Would you say that it’s most the posts that are problematic, or just certain ones. Thanks again!

      Peace, Love & Rock ‘n Roll!


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  5. Hey i have shooting h for a year now i want to quit and going to i have a week and a half off work in a week so im going to do the withdrawl thing them but in mean time i can seem to hit a vein i can for couple days then they go to shit what should i do to get by tell my time off work so i can quit i so want to be done my granddaughter is going to be born soon and for sure want to be done by then thanks guys


    • Hey there, thanks for writing in. Congratulations on taking the first step in getting the monkey off your back. Your family and new granddaughter will be grateful and benefit from your new found clean time. It’s hard to say exactly what you should do without knowing the shape of your veins and your history. Where have you been hitting? Are there any areas that you have yet to explore that are untapped? I’m in the same boat as you these days, after 17 years my veins are completely shot. I’ve stopped IV’ing almost all together. I muscle about 85% of the time these days unfortunately. Every once in a while a vein will reappear and I’ll get lucky, but I’ve had to resign myself that after all this time, I’ve done enough damage to just not be possible to hit anymore on a regular basis. But an IM injection can still be quite rewarding and you can definitely feel the shot and even taste it. I have a few recommendations if you do decide to go this route… 1. use your bicep muscle, it’s the most sure fire way to know you’re hitting muscle and not a fatty pocket and not nearly as painful as your thigh. 2. Dilute the entire syringe with liquid so it can dissolve evenly throughout the muscle. 3. Go as slow as possible. You won’t feel it if you just jam a small amount of prepared h quickly into your muscle (although you won’t get sick). But if you take your time and let it slowly dissipate into your arm, you’ll be surprised how nice the shot can be. Good luck and if you have any more questions about areas you’ve yet to explore, let me know and I’ll be happy to answer any additional questions. You can also email me at


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    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. I hope more people find my blog as well. I think it’s important that people hear another side of the story. It’s so one sided in the media. It was never meant to be a pro-heroin blog, but a blog that tells the real side of a story of someone who’s living a life with heroin, the good and the bad parts. Please feel free to pass my blog along and let people know about it! It would mean a lot to me! And anytime you want to reach out to me directly, you can reach me through my email, Peace, Love & Rock ‘n Roll! D_D


  8. Thank You for the time and effort you put into this site, Diva €:^}
    It seems you’re based in America and, I’d like to add a little Harm Reduction advice for H smokers, if I may. Basically, I’ve just been reading through a forum, wherein the thread’s Original Poster (OP) asked for advice on Chasing The Dragon (CTD) . The advice which followed the request left me peturbed and, somewhat bewildered. You see, almost every single USA based advisor, recommended using a straw or Bic pen sleeve to inhale the resultant H smoke from a chase. I’m sure you’re well aware that from a HR point of view, that is terribly dangerous advice. Not to mention an unnecessary waste of the smokeable build-up which collects within the tube. The heat generated by the H fumes is high enough to cause significant (if not total) release of toxic components contained within the plastics which, when ingested, are carcinogenic.
    Here in Great Britain, the standard method of CTD consists of foil to smoke from and with: Use that pen to make a foil tube. Slide the foil tube off the pen. One then has a safe tube through which to inhale H fumes. A secondary (and one may say primary) bonus of the foil “tooter” is the often righteous build-up of H within the tube. This can then be smoked simply by unwrapping, then flattening the H covered foil tooter – making another foil tooter to inhale through, thus beginning the process anew. With experience comes the expertise of placing slight crimps along your tooter in order to increase the collection of H.
    I did try to post this on the site in question, unsuccessfully. As many users of that site (upon which I believe you yourself run a blog) also use this splendid site, it seemed common sense to post here.
    Please accept my apologies if I come across as wanting/needing to hijack your site as, this was never my intention.

    Long may you continue to provide informative, entertaining content for all of us living in the Global Junkie Neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for posting your advice. You are very right about this fact. I really wanted to post it under Ask A Junky: Routes of Administration, Pt. 2, where I described the methods of insufflation, smoking and rectal administration. There I advice users to smoke with a wide tube, like a toilet paper or paper towel roll instead of a straw if possible. Not only is it not toxic, it also makes it easier to catch all the smoke and not let any of it “go up in smoke” and waste. I’ll probably post your comment there as well.

      I thoroughly enjoyed your comment and hope that you feel free to post as many as you’d like on any other blog post on this site as well. It’s very interesting to hear how people from all different parts of the world use their heroin. I hope to heard for from you in the future! There will never be any hard feelings when correcting or disagreeing with me. This is a site for open communication and free expression! The more opinions the better! Feel free to reach out to me at any time!



  9. So glad I found this site. Just had another totally frustrating time trying to get a vein to register. I live in South Florida, and unfortunately there are no needle exchange programs (for fucks sake!). I try and buy new needles as often as possible, but usually I end up using the same one for a week, before I go and cop again and it’s really wreaking havoc on my veins. Something’s gotta give. Moneys tight and Im just barely able to afford enough H to get by and be off sick at work, etc. So us know, my junkie ass would rather save the $$ for H then $3-$5 needles. Sooo long story short (lol yea right) i really appreciate this post, and found it extremely helpful. I hadn’t thought of hopping in order to help get my leg veins to pop, will def be trying that. I’ll be following ur blog, and thanks for the great tips.
    Look forward to future posts :)


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