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I guess I can call her “Hit Girl” now

April 19, 2015


It was show and tell time late this afternoon, much to the chagrin of the customer one seat away from me in the unnamed restaurant where I had had retired to watch the hockey game: the Vancouver Canucks at the Calgary Flames in game three of their first round series in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.


A street friend of mine (but not currently homeless) plunked her “Safer Hit Kit” down on the table beside me.

This is a harm reduction kit is provided by the InSite Supervised Injection Site both to intravenous drug users onsite in the Downtown Eastside and to IV drug users in other parts of Vancouver via outreach.

The one-time-use kit gave my friend (the Flames just opened the scoring) everything she needed to safely and cleanly inject a single dose of street drug:

A cooker, matches and purified water in order to liquify the (now the Canucks have tied it!) drug, be it heroin, crack cocaine or crystal methamphetamine; a filter, syringe, alcohol swab and tourniquet to inject the drug and a band aid to cover the resulting boo-boo.

Not a safe kit, mind you, just “safer”

The only thing the Safer Hit Kit didn’t provide her with, she told me, was the acidic substance she preferred to use in order to break down waterproof crack rocks so that she could liquify and inject them (meth is apparently soluble in water).

Possibly the kit had included some ascorbic acid tablets for the purpose but my friend has convinced herself that these collapse her veins and all she will use is vinegar (which is what health experts insist will collapse veins and cause abscesses).

Street addicts have typically gotten packets of vinegar freely from the condiment areas of fast food restaurants (over the counter as it where). Recently many restaurants (including the one I was in) have begun keeping the vinegar behind the counter and only giving it out to customers.

Way too much information!

There was news in all this for me. I knew that she had smoked crack for years but since when had she been an injection drug user?

Since her boyfriend got heavily into crystal meth, she answered with a disgusted face.

Really good quality “hard” (by which she meant crack, she explained) tasted like chalk but meth tasted like — she pondered for a bit — “like ass” she declared earnestly — she just couldn’t smoke it!

She then corralled a panhandler who had just come into the restaurant to get some water and…Ah, the Flames just scored again!

She asked him what he thought meth tasted like.

Heroin was his preferred drug and the best he could come up with was, “Plasticky, I guess”.

To her heartfelt assertion that it tasted like ass, he could only reply: “I wouldn’t know!”

I asked her where she got the kits and she said brightly that the kits were delivered right to the Fairview neighbourhood — both the Hit Kits and the companion sharps boxes.

What a sharp-looking box. I want one!


At this point she showed me a black plastic box with rounded sides that might’ve reminded me of a cigar case except that it was plastered with glaring white-lettered warnings like:


She had gotten one box for herself and another for the panhandler, which she gave to him. Then she showed me the clever way the used syringe compartment on the right hand side elastically expanded to the left in order to safely and firmly hold used needles.

And with that, show and tell was over. She had to go and earn some money in front of the Mac’s Convenience Store on Hemlock Street so — And the Flames score a third time! — so she could afford to make a phone call.

After all what good are having new toys if you can’t play with them. Click the images to enlarge them.

    • OMG! That’s a Darwin Award runner up. Though the advice to use vinegar is common enough (though apparently risky), the suggested alternative — muriatic acid sounds hideously dangerous. Vinegar is 97% water and 3% acetic acid — a very weak acid solution. muriatic acid is just another name for hydrochloric acid — which is so very corrosive!

      Bottom line though, injecting crack is one way to go from “stupid” to “stupidest”.

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