While popular media will often portray drug use as either a sniff through a dollar bill or popping a pill — the reality is that there are many ways to consume drugs.The methods and doses depend on the drug itself, but are also subject to personal preferences, timing — or simply convenience. With inspiration from Friday/Monday.org, we’ve made a little overview of the best and safest methods.
How it works: To snort a drug, it needs to be crushed into a powder and then snorted through a straw intranasally. When snorting, the drug enters your body through the tiny blood vessels in your nose and is directly transported to your brain.
Pros: Depending on the drug, snorting can make its effects quite immediate. When cutting a line of powdered drugs, be careful to assess the amount that you’re doing. For some people, it’s even a ritual of sorts and adds some mindfulness to the process.
Cons: Cutting lines for drugs takes a bit of equipment; a smooth surface, a hard card for crushing the crystals into powder and shaping the lines, and some type of straw. You also need an appropriate space to do it in, so it’s not always the most practical solution. Lots of people use rolled up money notes, but these tend to have lots of bacteria and viruses on them. Instead, it’s always advised to use your own straw to minimise the risk of contamination by viruses like Hepatitis C and COVID-19.
Tips: A way to make snorting feel smoother is to crush the crystals/powder as finely as possible. That way, the grains are easier to absorb and less irritating for your mucous membrane. When using some sort of straw, put it at the opening of the nostril; don’t go too deep. A simple tip is to cut up some plastic straws in advance and have them on you — both for yourself and to give to others. Remember to alternate between nostrils and to rinse your nose once in a while.
- Nasal sprays.
How it works: Nasal sprays are familiar to many of us from our annual cold or flu routines. To use them to take drugs, all you need is a refillable spray bottle. You’ll fill that up with your drug of choice diluted in saline solution. When you use nasal sprays, the liquid is absorbed by the mucous membrane in your nose and the drug gets transported directly to your brain.
Pros: The effect will be a bit milder, but it can work as a nice little ‘booster’. It’s also probably the most discreet way to consume a drug.
Cons: Not all drugs work well administered via nasal spray; most people prefer to use amphetamines or ketamine for this method. And since the drug is diluted, the effect will be much milder than with other methods of administration.
Tips: It’s best to use a saline solution to dissolve the drug. You should also give the bottle a shake before use to avoid the drugs settling on the bottom if they haven’t been completely dissolved.
How it works: Most drugs can be consumed by ingesting them — either as a powder or as pills. If it’s a powder, you can wrap a dose in a piece of cigarette paper or tissue. The drug will then be dissolved in the stomach and enter the bloodstream from there.
Pros: The effect comes on slower than other methods and feels a bit milder.
Cons: The chemical taste of drugs can be quite appalling. Note that ketamine works quite poorly when ingested. Some people have a tendency to get nauseous when ingesting drugs this way.
Tips: Some also like to dissolve the drug in a soft drink or mix it into a smoothie to cover up the chemical taste.
How it works: The body has so many wonderful orifices, and the asshole is certainly one of them. It, too, can be used for drug consumption. To shelve, you put a pill or a powdered drug wrapped in a bit of cigarette paper just inside the opening of your asshole. There, the drug gets absorbed by the mucus membrane before entering the bloodstream.
Pros: Drugs usually work faster with this method than if you eat them. The effect is also stronger. For people who experience nausea when ingesting drugs, this is a very good alternative.
Cons: If you get powder directly onto your anus, it can irritate it and leave it more prone to cuts and tears. For optimal absorption and comfort, it’s best to crush the powder as finely as possible.
Tips: After you insert the drug, wait 15-30 minutes before engaging in anal play — to make sure the drug is dissolved. And always remember lube for anal play.
How it works: When you inject with a needle and syringe, you’ll get the fastest and most intense rush because the drug is directly inserted into your body. You should never inject into an artery; use a vein instead. The blood pressure in your arteries is too high, so you’ll have difficulty stopping the bleeding. Depending on what drug you are doing, you have to differentiate the route of administration. For example, ketamine is administered intramuscularly — while most other drugs are injected into veins.
Pros: The effect will come on instantly and be very powerful.
Cons: Injecting drugs is never really recommended: it comes with extra risks of both infection and addiction, and demands equipment and a lot more know-how. Moreover, a needle can have traces of blood on it — which puts you at risk of contracting viruses and infections. That’s why you should never share a needle. It’s also strongly advised to not be alone when injecting and to use safe, functional and clean equipment.
Tips: Find more technical guidelines here.
How it works: For smoking, people typically use a glass pipe to heat up the drugs and inhale the fumes. The drug then enters your bloodstream through your lungs, and you feel its effects in a matter of seconds. Some also heat the drug on a piece of tin foil and use a straw to inhale the fumes. Some drugs like 5-MeO-DMT and DMT best work through smoking: the heat is needed to break down the chemicals. Other drugs can be administered by being rolled or dipped onto a cigarette, or rolled up as a joint.
Pros: The effect is quite strong and comes on quickly. It spares the nostrils from the tears of snorting.
Cons: Remember that by sharing a pipe/vape/joint, you run the risk of getting herpes, COVID-19 and other viruses. So, it’s preferable to have your own, or wash it before sharing (if possible).
Tips: Be careful handling both pipe and tinfoil: they can get really hot and leave burn marks. To avoid this, wrap a rubber band around the piece of the glass pipe that you put your lips to. For bongs, it’s ideal to use cold water: this helps reduce impurities. It can also be an idea to invest in a vaporiser, as it’s easier on the lungs and also reduces impurities.