It is a myth that heroin is the only substance that addicts inject. Users have been known to inject any drug that can be melted down and drawn into a syringe. Some drugs, when mixed with water, become liquid. Others require heat until they liquefy. Examples drugs that users inject include: heroin, methamphetamine, morphine, methadone, cocaine, pain pills and Valium. If you suspect the person you care about is injecting drugs, there are signs specific to IV drug use that you may notice.
Orange plastic caps: If they are shooting up, chances are they are using insulin syringes, which typically have a bright orange cap. If nobody in the house has diabetes, and you are finding bright orange caps in the car or at home, they should raise a red flag.
Small containers of water: Many injected drugs require mixing with water to become liquid. You might find soda bottle caps, small drinking glasses or lids to jars on the bathroom or kitchen counter. Sometimes, they will be wet or still have water in them when you find them. In addition, empty prescription pill bottles or their lids might have been used to facilitate drug use.
Dark smudges on counters: Some drugs must be melted to become liquid. In these cases, the user might put the drug in a spoon and hold a lighter under it until it melts. The hot spoon then gets set on the bathroom or kitchen counter so the person injecting the drugs can use both hands to fill the syringe and shoot up. The heated spoon often leaves a smudge mark on the counter.
Tiny cotton pieces: After dropping cotton into liquid, the drug is drawn out of the cotton with a syringe. The reason for doing this is that dirt and impurities get trapped by the cotton and don't end up in the syringe. In a similar fashion, cigarette filters are cut in half or cotton from the ends of ear swabs, or and pieces of cotton balls made to remove make-up, are also commonly used with a syringe.
Bent Spoons and other cookers: For drugs that must be melted, a cooker is needed. Common cookers include metal twist off caps from beer, soda or kitchen oil; metal spoons that can be bent at the handle to create an easily held cooker, and aluminum cans cut in half. After several uses, the cooker develops noticeable burnt spots on the bottom.
Alcohol swabs: If the person using drugs is trying to keep things sterile, he or she will have a supply of alcohol swabs to swipe the skin with before injecting drugs.