Safe Steroid Injection Procedures

Most first time steroid users have a dreaded fear of injections. Let’s face it, who naturally WANTS to stick a hollow tube of sharp sterilised stainless steel through their skin deep into a muscle and then inject an oily substance through it into a place where there’s no space for it? Now that you’re REALLY scared, it must be realised that nearly all steroid-using bodybuilders MUST overcome any fears they have of injections in order to use injectable drugs. Some might reason they can get away with using only oral compounds in their quest for size and strength, and so avoid injectable use. From the rest of the information presented in this book we see not only that it is wise to attempt to use as varied a selection of drugs as possible to keep the gains curve moving in an upward direction, but also that most oral compounds (which for real stuff are sometimes in limited availability on the Black Market in this country) are generally much more toxic to the liver than their injectable counterparts.

Let us examine the task that a first time injectable user is faced with. He will obviously have some questions relating to the procedures involved and even though he may be in contact with other injection ‘experts’ (something which they rarely are), it is best I cover every aspect of this procedure to ensure correct instruction, as other users may have been self taught or misinformed initially.

Where are needles and syringes obtained?

A few years ago, the only place that steroid users were able to get their injection paraphernalia was from the local steroid dealer who most likely acquired them from dishonest hospital staff or out the back door of manufacturing companies. They were sold on to the user at about £1 for 4 syringes (sometimes referred to as ‘barrels’) and 4 needles (sometimes referred to as ‘pins’).

However, due to the last couple of decades of escalation of the HIV virus, AIDS, and HEPATITIS (due in part to addicts sharing needles), all the necessary equipment one would ever need can now be obtained free of charge from NEEDLE EXCHANGE CENTRES scattered throughout the country who will provide injection equipment and even relevant basic information on injection procedures too. Though these centres were originally meant for heroin addicts and the like, the people who run them don’t normally ask what drugs the equipment is for and in fact many of these centres are now getting wise to the fact that there are advancing numbers of steroid users in this country more than once were originally thought. A few centres actually cater specifically to anabolic users by having steroid councillors on their drug teams who will gladly offer advice and information to anyone willing to listen.

Needle Sizes

Remember that when getting needles there are two types for oil and water based drugs. Ensure you get the right ones for the substance you wish to inject.

Every needle has a GAUGE NUMBER, where the higher the gauge number the narrower the needle. For steroidal and accessory drug use the gauge sizes used range from a superfine 29G (as in the case of insulin needles), all the way up to a whacking 18G (normally only used for very thick oil based preparations which would not physically pass through any smaller a gauge). In this country, we have a colour coding along with the gauge number, making for ease of identification and lowered incidence of selection errors in hospitals, etc.


Along with the different gauge sizes there are also different needle lengths. Lengths are usually ½” (12.7mm), 1” (25.2mm), 1 ¼” (31.5mm), 1 ½” (40mm) and 2” (50.4mm). You may rationalise that you should use the shortest length possible to avoid a sore injection site (and looks less scary), but this rationale does not pan out. It is the needle gauge that normally determines post injection soreness not the length, with the smaller gauges being more likely responsible vor post injection pain as the pressure of liquid coming out of a finer gauge is much higher than one with a wider gauge…the finer gauges cause more intramuscular cell disruption that leads to the soreness one might feel. It is a little like when you play about with the garden hose and nip the aperture at the hose end to make the water squirt further, i.e. an increase in pressure from a smaller aperture. Always use the lowest gauge to get the job done, and choose a needle length to suit where you are injecting.

As a general guide:

GLUTEAL 1 ¼ – 2” 21-23G
OUTER THIGH 1 ¼ – 1 ½” 21-23G
DELTOID 1 – 1 ¼” 23-25G
SUB-CUTANEOUS ¾ – 1” 25-29G
INTRAVENOUS 1 ¼ – 2” 21-29G


What exactly is needed for an injection?

When obtaining equipment from needle exchange centres, it is usually best to stock up on a large supply of the necessary equipment one might need to avoid having to go back every few weeks. In any one trip it is a good idea to acquire the following if available: –

  • 20 x 2. 5cc syringe cases (most common for regular jabs)
  • 20 x 5cc syringe cases (for big volume shots)
  • 20 x Insulin 100iu syringes (needles usually attached – for GH, Insulin, HCG, peptides, etc.)
  • 50 x green tipped needles (25 gauge, 1. 5 inch – thick oil jabs)
  • 50 x blue tipped needles (21 gauge, 1. 25 inch – thin/thick oil jabs)
  • 50 x orange tipped needles (18 gauge, 1 inch – thin oil & water based drug jabs)
  • 1-box alcohol pre-injection swabs (usually in 200’s)
  • 1 large sharps bin (for needle disposal, usually back at the centre)

Although this might seem like a hell of a lot of tackle (especially to the first time user), after a short while with a few dropped, blunted or non-sterile (i.e. touched) needles (and once you are much bigger and use more juice), you will realise that stocks can soon deplete when injecting on a regular basis. This amount is very realistic, if not downright conservative for the heavier user.

Drug container types

Steroid multi dose vial use
Steroid multi dose vial

These vials normally consist of a small sterile glass bottle containing a large amount of injectable steroid in oil (10-20mls), water or alcohol based solution, held inside by means of a crimped on rubber membrane at the open end. The membrane enables a person to withdraw any amount of steroid from within the container any number of times without fear of contamination of the contents (as long as the needle and syringe used are sterile of course).

On receipt, the unopened vial will normally have a tamper proof plastic end cap that cannot be re-attached to the crimped metal ring once it has been removed. Do not accept any multi dose vial that does not have its end cap intact.

Single dose glass ampoules

These ampoules are usually made of relatively thick window glass, and are normally cylindrical in cross section with a narrowing toward one end to make a ‘snappable’ neck. The tops of the amps may or may not break easily depending on whether they have pre-scored neck. A pre-scored neck is usually denoted with a printed dot above the where the neck is scored (see pic); always snap away from the scoring to get a clean break. If they are not pre-scored and you don’t want your fingers cut to bits from a smashed ampoule, score the narrow neck of the amp with a sharp serrated knife or a small needle file prior to breaking off the top, and protect your fingers by holding the amp inside a thick cloth or folded paper towel.

Steroid single use ampoule
Steroid single use ampoule close up

Pre-loaded Syringes

These are syringe assemblies which come with the drug already contained within; sometimes with the needle, sometimes without. Other than expelling any air bubbles that may be in the syringe case and swapping the needle for a smaller gauge (the ones supplied tends to be a little on the thick/blunt side), you’re ready to go.

Some pre-loads do not have removable needles as the syringe and needle are manufactured as one, so you may need to transfer the whole contents to another syringe case if the existing needle is too thick for you. To do this simply remove the plunger from a new empty syringe, then squirting the contents of the full syringe into the empty, then replace the plunger onto the new case. It’s important to remember to tip the whole assembly upside down (plunger at the bottom), once the plunger is just into the new syringe to expel the air, or you’ll spray the contents of the syringe all over your feet!

Please note that this excerpt is only a small sample of the book chapter it is taken from. A great deal more content is available on this and many other topics in the Break the Code book.

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