Tips for Success
Injecting Technique & Safe Needle Use
Check with patients that they have used an appropriate resource for learning how to undertake injections and they are using clean needles sourced from pharmacies (online or local) or attending a local needle exchange. Ideally know your local needle exchange who can offer support with this
Advice on Side-effects
IPED used often focus on side-effects that involve the liver or kidneys. We believe it is important to re-frame risk around early atherosclerosis and cardiac changes that can occur in IPED use. It is worth checking users knowledge and understanding of IPED risks and referring them to a reputable source of information if needed.
Stop, slow, safe
When engaging clients, the immediate reaction of many clinicians may be to tell the user to immediately stop IPED use, which can damage the relationship with the person who is approaching the clinician for help. We sometimes lose the opportunity to engage with the user after this as they fail to return. Explore the reasons for commencing IPED use. Discuss if they have had thoughts of stopping and encourage this where possible. Our anecdotal experience with IPED users, is that support with health monitoring and reduction or cessation advice, taking into account a patient's motivations, is usually more successful than simply instructing the patient to stop use immediately.
Sometimes patients reasons for starting IPED use can be quite variable, many cite occupational reasons such as working in law enforcement, military careers or private security. Exploring the reasons for starting in a non-judgemental fashion will sometimes aid clinicians in conversations about reduction or cessation of use.
Clients have often had a prior experience with a clinician, which they frequently report to have gone unfavourably. Clients have then gone on to avoid future interactions with healthcare providers as a result. Small changes in language can lead to some better patient interactions. These can include acknowledging that users have already been taking in account risks such as using phrases like "What steps have you taken to reduce your risks?". Using common language within IPED use (see glossary of terms) such as "what are you using in your cycle?" often helps users to open up and have more frank conversations about risks.
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