Used properly, tourniquets raise veins and can be helpful for some when injecting. However, "a badly used tourniquet introduces many new risks and it would be safer not to use one at all rather than to use a bad tourniquet badly." For example, some guys don't like a needle and syringe 'flapping around' while they release the tourniquet which is why they release it after injecting. While this is a practice, it's not advisable.
If you use one correctly a tourniquet will increase the size of a vein considerably, this of course makes it easier to hit and so reduces the risk missed hits (that lead to abscess). But that’s only if you use a tourniquet in the right way. Used incorrectly you can increase the risks of damage to the vein, totally fail to get a vein at all or even put the entire arm at risk. That’s why it’s important to let injectors know how to use tourniquets.
How to use a tourniquet | Injecting advice
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Section 9A of the Misuse of Drugs Act
Under Section 9A of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is a criminal offence to supply or offer to supply articles for administering or preparing controlled drugs. The Act says an offence will be committed if the following circumstances exist:
- An article is supplied or offered to be supplied.
- The article may be used or adapted to be used (whether by itself or in combination with another article or articles) in the administration of a controlled drug.
- The person supplying or offering to supply the article did so in the belief that the article would be so used by any person, whether to administer the drug to themselves or another, in circumstances where that administration would be unlawful.
Articles such as crack pipes, grinders, spoons, bongs and tourniquets could fall within this prohibition. However, prosecutions under section 9A - even of headshops clearly promoting drug use - are now virtually unheard of, and there has never been an employee of a drug service tried for this offence.