15 July 2010

"Flashbood" - injecting the blood of another addict

It's for items like this that I maintain a "WTF" category in TYWKIWDBI...
Desperate heroin users in a few African cities have begun engaging in a practice that is so dangerous it is almost unthinkable: they deliberately inject themselves with another addict’s blood, researchers say, in an effort to share the high or stave off the pangs of withdrawal.

The practice, called flashblood or sometimes flushblood, is not common, but has been reported in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on the island of Zanzibar and in Mombasa, Kenya...

Most of the addicts she has interviewed who practice flashblood, Dr. McCurdy said, are women. For them, sharing blood is more of an act of kindness than an attempt to get high: a woman who has made enough money to buy a sachet of heroin will share blood to help a friend avoid withdrawal. The friend is often a fellow sex worker who has become too old or sick to find customers...

Whether or not someone can actually a get drug rush from such a relatively tiny amount of blood has never been tested, Dr. McCurdy said. Humans have about five quarts of blood and the flashblood-user injects less than a teaspoon.

“They say they do,” she said. “They pass out as if they just got a high. But I’ve talked to doctors who say that could be entirely the placebo effect.”

One possibility, she said, is that traces of the drug are still in the syringe.
Words fail me.  You can read the rest of the story at The New York Times.

1 comment:

  1. Beyond the disease vector, how much wrong-Typed blood can one handle before having a rejection reaction, or some such?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...