Filters

Filters are specifically designed to remove impurities and can drastically reduce the amount of harmful material and contaminants in your drugs, such as the chalk and wax in pills that are not designed for IV use, plant matter in poppies, and unwanted by-products in drugs made in backyard labs, like Speed and Homebake. Unfiltered drugs can lead to “dirty tastes”, localised swellings and infections, abscesses, collapsed veins, renal (kidney) failure, Endocarditis (pus on your heart!), and a whole lot of other nasties.

Cigarette filters, cotton buds and tampons contain things like glass fibers, bleach and even fungi so don’t use them (if using cigarette filters get the blue pack Boomerang filters as they are made from wood pulp). Wheel Filters are sterile and are the safest, most effective way of filtering out contaminants and impurities from your drugs. Your local Needle Exchange will also be able to advise you on this.

In this section
+ What is a wheel filter?
+ Why use a filter
+ Dirty tastes and infections: things to watch out for
+ How to use a whell filter
+ Wheel filter table
+ Some tips on using a wheel filter

What is a wheel filter?
Filters are specifically designed to remove impurities and can drastically reduce the amount of harmful material and contaminants in your drugs, such as chalk and wax in pills that are not designed for IV use, plant matter in poppies, and unwanted by-products in drugs made in backyard labs, like Speed and Homebake. Unfiltered drugs can lead to dirty tastes, localised swellings and infections, abscesses, collapsed veins, renal (kidney) failure, Endocarditis (which means 'pus on your heart'), and a whole lot of other nasties. Cigarette filters, cotton buds and tampons contain things like glass fibres, bleach and even fungi, so don’t use them.

Wheel Filters are sterile and are the safest, most effective way of filtering out contaminants and impurities from your drugs. See the section on 'How To Use a Wheel Filter' for tips on how to use them and which one will best suit your purpose. Your local Needle Exchange will also be able to advise you on this.

Why use a filter
Filtering your drugs will reduce the damage to your body caused by the impurities in injectable drugs. Filtering will remove these impurities and give you a cleaner, safer taste. Most drugs manufactured by the pharmacutical companies are made in tablet form so they can be swallowed. The manufacturers add chalk, wax, binders and other additives for reasons such as making them easier to swallow, or to make them release their chemicals at a controlled rate (eg. “long acting” and “slow release” pills).

Homebake and Speed are generally made to be injectable, but since they usually aren’t made in a controlled, sterile laboratory by a qualified chemist, they probably contain a lot of impurities and by-products of the manufacturing process. So, if you’re going to inject pills of any kind, drugs derived from plants (ie. opium) or powders, like speed (that some grubby handed dealer has bagged up), then you definitely need to be using a filter.

By effectively filtering your drugs you can reduce the amount of harmful contaminants in them, and this in turn will help you avoid many of the secondary health problems associated with intravenous drug use such as collapsed and chalky veins, injection site infections and dirty tastes. Using filters will not protect you from viruses such as HIV or Hep C. The only way to do this is to not share needles or syringes, or any drug preparation equipment such as spoons, tourniquets, mixing fits or rinsing water, and never re-use a syringe, not ever!

This short tale of how effective wheel filters are should go a long way to convincing you of their value.
After scoring some Morphine I went straight to the public toilets in the local mall to have a blast. Being in a hurry I spilt it. As you can well imagine my heart sank.
I then realised that I had a 0.20um wheel filter and having been told that it will filter out bacteria I then proceeded to suck up what I could from the toilet floor and used the wheel filter to clean it. After thinking for a few minutes about the consequences of injecting a filthy toilet floor infested blast if the wheel filter didn't do what it was advertised to, I decided to use it and to my amazement the blast was fine.
You can imagine my relief, as I have never considered myself as the sort of person to Guinea Pig anything like some people. Ever since I have been a strong advocate of using wheel filters.

Dirty Tastes and Infections: things to watch out for
Unfiltered drugs can produce quite dramatic and dangerous reactions in the body and can show themselves in different ways. A dirty taste can be frightening. You may get one or more of the following reactions:



These are all symptoms of a dirty taste, even those little “flea bite” swellings that go away after 20 minutes or so. Most people who have had a dirty taste however, are familiar with the more extreme symptoms and know just how unpleasant these can be. Spending the day throwing up with what feels like the worst hangover you’ve ever had is no way to have fun!

The more serious reactions can lead to things like the loss of a limb, eg. an arm (then how would you hit up!) through abscesses, gangrene and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning, which can kill you in only a few days without the appropriate medical treatment). You could lose a kidney, or spend the rest of your life relying on regular dialysis treatment to keep you alive.

Endocarditis is an infection a bit like having an abscess on your heart valves and will kill you if not treated quickly. “Immune Impact” happens when your immune system gets progressively run down over time and it will affect your ability to fight any infections in the future. An embolism can occur when impurities, or even air bubbles, get lodged in small blood vessels, causing the tissue to die, get infected or become gangrenous. When gangrene happens, the likely outcome is amputation.  The list of horror stories goes on.

Traditional filtering methods such as cigarette filters and cotton wool are not reliable filtering methods. They contain their own impurities and will only filter down to about 50 microns. A lot of bacteria are 100 times smaller than 50 microns and viruses are even smaller. Cigarette filters for example, also contain glass fibres while cotton products such as cotton wool, cotton buds and tampons, can contain bleach and/or fungi and bacteria.

Even the water you use, if it’s not the best quality bottled water bought 5 minutes ago for the purpose or commercially sterilized, then it will not only contain additives such as chlorine and fluoride, but may also contain fungi, bacteria and “greeblies” such as giardia or cryptosporidium. Just because you can’t see the contaminants, doesn’t mean they’re not there. What would you see if you looked at a droplet through a microscope?

The safest and most effective way to filter your drugs (and water) is through a wheel filter from a Needle Exchange or Level 2 pharmacy.

How to use a Wheel Filter
 1. Get everything you need from the Needle Exchange or Level 2 pharmacy.
You’ll need a fit for each person (barrel and needle), a 5ml or 10ml “mixing” fit with a large gauge needle for it (There are blunt needles designed for this purpose, they are 18g 1 1/2", and called a "draw up" needle.), sterile water and alcohol swabs. May as well grab some condoms too while you’re at it - they’re free. Swab your spoon(s) with the alcohol swabs and prepare a clean work surface. A dinner plate works well and you can easily swab it too. Take your mixing fit and sterile water ampoule and draw a small amount of the water up into the fit. Screw your wheel filter onto the end of the mixing fit. Holding the fit vertically, push the water up through the fit to remove any air bubbles and wet the filter thoroughly. Squirt the water out down the sink.

 2. Prepare your drugs.
Prepare your drugs as usual and allow them to cool right down (the wax in MST’s has a melting point not much higher than body temperature, so when the gear is sufficiently cooled you should see a ring of congealed wax form around the edge of your spoon). Place a cigarette filter, cotton wool ball or cotton bud into the spoon and draw the liquid up into your mixing barrel. Be careful to maintain just a little suction as you turn the barrel back up the other way so that your gear doesn’t go splurting out the end! Use a new needle on the end of the barrel if you need to – it’s better than losing your taste! Add more sterile water now if you need to too and mix well, so that dividing the drugs between people will be easier to work out (eg. make it up to equal 1ml each).

3. Prepare your wheel filter.
Next, screw the Wheel Filter tightly onto the end of your mixing barrel (the 5 or 10ml), then screw your new 21 or 23 gauge needle onto the end of the filter. Push gently with even pressure straight into your new syringe. Screw a new needle onto the end of the syringe and your ready to go!

Wheel Filter Table

Size What it's used for Colour
0.2 micron This is the only filter that will remove bacteria, Homebake, Crystal Meth and Cocain (to remove impurities and bacteria. Blue
0.45 micron Methadone (removes the pink colouring). Yellow
0.8  micron MST/Morphine Sulphate (all sizes), Speed (if brown or discoloured). Green
1.2 micron Opium from Poppies (to remove plant residue), Chalky Pills (e.g Ritalin, Pethidine, Methadone) MST's (if cooking more than one at a time). Red
5.0 micron A good preliminary filter to use before one of those above. The're also cheaper. There is also a needle filter that is the same size although you can't filter as much through. Brown
 

 

Some tips on using a Wheel Filter
    •    Wetting the filter before you use it will make it less likely to block up (through airlocks) or retain your drugs.
    •    Wheel Filters are designed to be used once only.
    •    They are also designed to be used with a 5ml or a 10ml barrel only. Using a smaller one such as a 3ml can cause too much pressure to build up and the filter will break splattering your taste all over the place!
    •    Don’t put warm or hot fluids through your filter as some waxes have low melting points and can pass through a filter.
    •    Filters will clog up if you try and put too much through them.
    •    More drugs means more filters
    •    Pushing fluids out is easier than pulling them into a barrel.
    •    When filtering, apply pressure gently and steadily. If you have to force it at all, the filter has probably clogged up. Get a new one and filter more than once with something else first, like a cigarette filter, to save your dollars.
    •    Don’t forget that a wheel filter will retain between 0.1 and 0.2ml, which you can flush out through the filter with your sterile water. Remember to go in the same direction as before.
    •    Filters grow bacteria very well if you leave them lying around to be used again. So use once only and throw it away!