Tips for safer crack use
Using this kit will help prevent cuts and burns to your lips and mouth, which in turn will help protect you from getting infections such as hepatitis B and C, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis and herpes. TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF INFECTION, DO NOT SHARE YOUR GLASS STEM.
The kit contains:
- Glass stem – made from Pyrex with rounded tips to help prevent cuts to the fingers or lips. It doesn’t heat up as quickly as metal pipes, and won’t give off poisonous fumes like plastic water bottles, copper tubing, inhalers or pop cans. THE STEMS SHOULD ONLY BE USED ONCE, especially if chipped or broken.
- Latex mouth piece – cover the end of the stem to avoid burning or cutting your lips and fingers.
- Brass screens – to use instead of Brillo. Burnt bits from Brillo can cause open sores and bleeding in the mouth and lungs. Use all 5 screens scrunched to serve as a filter and replace when blackened or as often as necessary.
- Chopstick – to help scrunch the screens inside the stem.
- Alcohol swabs – to clean your latex mouth piece as often as necessary, especially if you think someone else might have used it.
- Gum - chew gum to help keep your teeth from grinding.
- Lip balm – helps to keep your lips from cracking/burning.
- Hand wipes – clean your hands so you can avoid spreading germs. They are good to use before touching your own equipment.
- Condoms and lube – to reduce the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections.
Safe disposal of the glass stem:
Deposit your used stem(s) in a biohazard container, can or jar and bring them back to The Site, or any other needle exchange program at one of our partner agencies. You can also deposit them in any needle drop box (black box) located throughout the City. For information about the drop box locations, call the City at 580-2400.
Places where you can get safer crack kits:
- The Site – 179 Clarence St. and van
- Elizabeth Fry Society
- Somerset West Community Health Centre
- Centretown Community Health Centre
- Sandy Hill Community Health Centre
- Operation Go Home
- Centre 454
Remember…take care of yourself, take care of your community…don’t share your glass stem!
Help is always available – call The Site at 232-3232. We accept collect calls!