Drugs can be injected, snorted, swallowed, smoked and shafted. No matter which way you choose to take your drugs, there are always risks of something going wrong.

The riskiest method is injecting as this is the most likely way to transmit blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis C. But injecting can also cause other problems, including vein damage, bacterial infections and dirty hits. There is also a high risk of overdose when injecting drugs, although it’s important to remember that you can still overdose when using other methods.

Snorting

Most powdered drugs can be snorted. The trick is to make sure the powder is as fine as you can get it. You can do this by chopping the powder with a razor blade or knife. Make sure you refine any lumps or crystals by crushing them carefully with a spoon or flattening them with a bank card.

Powders are usually snorted through straws or rolled up dollar bills. However, sharing these implements could potentially pass on blood-borne viruses. There may be small particles of blood on these objects that you cannot see.

Some powders can be painful to snort and your nostrils feel like they are burning. It may help to tilt your head back and put a few drops of water through your nostrils.

Check out this article in User’s News on snorting, smoking and shafting (or stuffing).

Swallowing

All drugs can be swallowed, but some like methamphetamine (ice/crystal/meth) have been known to upset some people’s stomachs. If you find that this happens try wrapping the drug in cigarette papers before swallowing or try shafting. Swallowing heroin would be a waste of your money as you would have to swallow a hell of a lot to feel anything.

Swallowing takes a lot more time for the drug to come on so try and be patient. Once it does come on, the drugs might stay longer in your system and the comedown, especially from amphetamines, could be smoother.

Smoking

You can smoke heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.

All heroin can be smoked but brown alkaline heroin is the most suitable to smoke.

‘Chasing the dragon’ can be fiddly and requires some experience, so some users who don’t want to inject ‘spot’ – which is a method of placing bits of the drug on a piece of foil and heating from beneath with a cigarette lighter. The smoke is then inhaled through a straw or rolled up dollar note. It is still debatable whether the chemicals from the heated foil cause respiratory problems.

Check out Brown Heroin – White Smack with a Tan or The Real Deal?in User’s News

The effects of smoking methamphetamines come on just as quick or even a little bit quicker than injecting. It is a lot harder to smoke methamphetamines on foil, however, as when heat is applied to methamphetamine it turns to a liquid, then a vapour, rather than smoke. The liquid moves away from the heat source, making it easy for the drug to spill off the foil.

A glass pipe (it is illegal to buy and sell glass pipes in NSW) that has a bowl on the end is much more suitable for smoking methamphetamine. The bowl will contain the liquid form until it turns into vapour, which you then inhale.

Check out the User’s News article Tips for Using Crystal

Shafting

Shafting is when you place the drug up your bum. This can be done by wrapping the drug in cigarette papers before shafting it. It always helps to use a bit of lubricant. Pills such as ecstasy can be easily shafted without wrapping in cigarette paper. Some people have noted that this can cause a laxative effect.

This method will make the drug come on quickly as there are a lot of mucous membranes in your arse. You do not have to shove the drug right up there, just pass the ‘ledge’.

Remember – you can still overdose when using all the above methods.