Drug solutions prepared for injection contain bacteria and particles that are introduced from handling, preparation, cutting processes and the general environment. Likewise, pharmaceutical drugs can accrue bacteria from handling and contain many inactive components such as talc that provide tablets with bulk and function. Bacteria introduced to the body during injections are a common cause of infection, however filtering injection solutions is an effective way to reduce these potential harms.
In this bulletin, we wanted to examine the extent of use of filters among people who inject drugs that participated in the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) over the past five years, from 2016-2020. We also wanted to examine whether filtering practices differed according to jurisdiction and by the type of drugs that people were using.