Cookers AKA Bottle Caps
amfAR Order “Caps- Metal Alum” Item # WALUMCAP/1000 and “Caps- Metal Gold” Item # WCAPS/GOLD1000
Information taken directly from “Guide to Developing and Managing Syringe Access Programs” by Harm Reduction Coalition, 2010
Cookers are used to mix up (cook) the drug solution. The most common types of cookers distributed at SAPs (in the US) are aluminum “caps”- like those used for bottle tops. Caps may come with or without “threads” – the indentations in a cap when it is used for screwing it on and off a bottle. Some users prefer “shell caps” – caps without threads – because the drug mix may otherwise get stuck in the threads. Some users will prefer the threaded caps, or a combination of the two, because they are often a slightly different size and can be used to stack with smaller caps; this is for saving cookers and drug rinses (rinsing is a technique of adding water to a used cooker or cotton to access any residual drug).
Blood inside used cookers can transmit HCV and other blood-borne infections if a contaminated cooker is used to fix drugs for injection. Cookers can get blood in them in several ways – some examples include:
-If a contaminated syringe is used to put drugs into or pull drugs out of a cooker.
-A contaminated cotton or contaminated water is put into the cooker.
-If someone has had trouble finding a vein or has a problem with a syringe during injection, they may put drug mix that is mixed with blood back into a cooker and start again.
Also it is not uncommon for IDUs to share or sell rinses. IDUs should be encouraged to use a new or clean cooker, or their own cooker, for every injection and should be advised of the dangers associated with sharing cookers/rinses.