Unsafe injection practices significantly increase the risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among injection drug users (IDUs). We examined individual and socio-environmental factors associated with unsafe injection practices in young adult IDUs in San Diego, California. Of 494 IDUs, 46.9 % reported receptive syringe sharing and 68.8 % sharing drug preparation paraphernalia in the last 3 months. Unsafe injection practices were associated with increased odds of having friends who injected drugs with used syringes, injecting with friends or sexual partners, and injecting heroin. Perceived high susceptibility to HIV and perceived barriers to obtaining sterile syringes were associated with increased odds of receptive syringe sharing, but not with sharing injection paraphernalia. Over half the IDUs reported unsafe injection practices. Our results suggest that personal relationships might influence IDUs' perceptions that dictate behavior. Integrated interventions addressing individual and socio-environmental factors are needed to promote safe injection practices in this population.