Warning: Drugs can cause harm. This guide does not substitute medical advice. If you think you or someone is in danger from drugs, call 111.
Whether you’re just lighting up a joint with your flatmate or you’re about to rail some lines of coke in an R-rated comedy trilogy about a bachelor’s party, there are a lot of decisions to make before you take your drug of choice. One of the questions is where in your body you’re going to be putting that drug, and in what form. From mainlining to free-basing, here’s a scientific run down on ways to take drugs and their pros and cons.
Railing, or snorting through your nose, is the method of choice for many breathers doing MDMA. The nasal cavity has a big surface area for absorbing, a rich blood supply to carry it around and is close to the brain for quick effect.
Now before you take out your student IDs, gear takes longer to hit as it needs to first enter the liver and convert into its active, jaw-destroying form. This route can irritate and cause permanent damage to the nasal cavity. Drag yourself over to student health if you have nosebleeds, pain, loss of smell or cocaine nose (Google at your own risk).
Almost anything can be gobbled on – from caps to shrooms to special brownies to absinthe. Acid is commonly absorbed within the mouth, as it’s rich in blood supply and quickly absorbs to change the world, or at least your perception of it.
A full stomach also helps some drugs absorb better and reduce tummy pains. On an empty stomach, most drugs, including gear and ketamine, are absorbed much more quickly. The downside is that their effects will last longer and they hit you harder as well, potentially leading to premature fuckouts and making you much more likely to suffer the negative side effects of whatever you’re taking.
Call Healthline however if you have black or bloody stools, if your vomit is bloody or coffee coloured, or you feel bad pain.
The method of choice for bongs, vapes, and those cream chargers from Shosha that you are “definitely using for baking”. Your lungs are rich in blood supply with a large surface area for oxygen to enter very quickly. Inhaling drugs hijacks this. Nangs, cones and nicotine are quickly absorbed into the blood and into action.
Inhaling drugs can cause damage to your airways and lungs, and may make you cough them up and be unable to breathe. Airway obstruction and choking can also occur with powders, so try to dabble with only gasses, like vapor and smoke, rather than mystery crystals. There’s also lung cancer to worry about.
Shelving, boofing, or sticking-it-up-your-butt has been an unsavoury staple of parties for quite some time. Gelatine capsules are designed to melt at body temperature, so don’t worry about the condom trick. Make sure to insert it as far as possible, and it should melt within a few minutes.
MDMA should take effect in about 30 minutes to an hour, but can also take longer as the crystals need to ‘spread’ evenly and dissolve to absorb (this isn’t an issue with butt chugs, as they work like an enema). Even then, the rectum won’t absorb as well as the stomach and small intestines. Be cautious of irritation, pain and bleeding. Even though it’s rare, it would warrant a GP trip.
You can pick up clean needles from at DIVO or from any pharmacy for a few dollars. The perks are that the drugs will act very quickly as they enter straight into your organs through your bloodstream. It also ensures all the drug injected enters your body (but gear still needs to go through the liver).
The perks end here. This method is a curse in disguise. Your body can’t say “not tonight” to anything entering your body. This will make it much easier to overdose, as all the drug is absorbed, unlike with other methods. Take my word, you have more than enough drugs to get munted at 2.27 am without touching a needle.
Injecting drugs can cause vein irritation, muscle and tissue liquefaction, sepsis and gas gangrene (do not Google those). Not recommended.