Facts & Tips
- Sharing cottons can spread HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- Spores & bacteria grow in used cottons.
- Don't save used cottons for when you can't score.
- Save a tiny bit of dope instead.
- Use a fresh, clean cotton every time you shoot.
Cotton fever is probably not caused by cotton fibers. It's more likely caused by bacteria that live in the cotton. Cotton can grow a lot of bacteria, especially after it gets wet. Re-using cottons can put bacteria directly into your blood stream. Cotton fever is uncomfortable, but it's usually not serious.
Symptoms may include:
- Hot flashes
- Shaking that you can't control
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms usually show up right after injecting, but may take up to an hour. Taking a second hit will not make them go away. Instead, grab a blanket and let the infection take its course.
If symptoms last longer than 3 to 4 hours, or get worse, go to an emergency room. Don't ignore these symptoms, especially if they last. They can mean that you have a very serious infection or even a blood clot that could kill you.
- Always use a fresh new cotton, a new cooker and a new sterile syringe.
- Before you shoot, wash your hands and the injection site with lots of soap and hot water. Then wipe the site with an alcohol pad
- Exchange used rigs for new, sterile ones.
- Test for HIV, hepatitis & TB.
- Get great advice and helpful hints from our vein care pros.
- Get quality health care from the docs in our Medical Clinic (Monday - Friday, 1:30 - 4:30 pm).
There are 7 needle exchange sites in King County.
Call 206-205-7837 for hours and more info.