TRUE-ANSWER ® Alcohol Pads

TRUE-ANSWER ® Alcohol Pads

TRUE-ANSWER ® Alcohol swabs are used by people who use drugs to clean an injection site before injection. People also sometimes use a swab to clean their fingers and thumb before an injection and to remove any blood from the injection on their fingers and other surfaces. Sharing and reusing someone else’s swabs can put people at risk for infections like HCV. Exact risk of transmission from reusing a swab is not known. People who inject drugs sometimes share swabs, so it is important for needle and syringe programs (NSPs) to educate clients about the potential risks of sharing and reusing swabs.



Proper alcohol swab use is important to help prevent other health complications that may result from not cleaning the skin before injection, such as skin and soft-tissue abscesses and other bacterial infections. Although cleaning the skin with soap and water is effective, people who inject drugs in community settings may not have access to soap and clean water. Distributing sterile alcohol swabs is an important way for NSPs to reduce the risks associated with sharing or reusing alcohol swabs and the risks associated with not cleaning the skin. NSP clients should also be reminded that alcohol swabs are to be used on the skin before injection only; clean, dry, and absorbent pads should be used to stop blood flow after injection.