Why are There so Many Ways to Take Drugs?

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With drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy, several different methods of consumption appear. Many individuals who take these drugs consume them by snorting, swallowing, smoking, or injecting them. Each mode of consumption provides their own risks, but many people try different methods because they each produce different effects.

Snorting drugs is often a method of choice because it is a direct passageway for drugs to enter the bloodstream. When drugs are taken through the nose, the stomach does not break down the drugs, making the effects more direct and stronger. Although the effects are stronger, snorting can be incredibly dangerous because the human nose was not designed to snort powder. Doing this can lead to inflammation of the nasal lining, infection of the lungs, and blockages of respiratory tracts and nasal airways.

Swallowing drugs has been said to be the safest consumption method, and it also has less intense effects as other methods. Swallowing takes a little bit longer for the drug’s effects to appear, and if the body’s defense mechanism does not agree with the drug being taken, it will try to dispel it by self-induced vomiting.

Smoking drugs is dangerous because some of the chemicals in the drugs, such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde often found in tobacco and marijuana, can cause damage and precancerous changes in the lungs. When drugs are smoked, they are readily absorbed into the lungs and quickly into the bloodstream, which travels throughout the body and brain. From this, individuals experience near immediate effects, but can disappear in a quicker amount of time.

Some people inject drugs via the “crook” of the elbow or other parts of the arm, the legs, or in between the toes. Intravenous injections are a preferred method because they quickly enter the bloodstream and produce fast-acting results, but the effects can wear off rather quickly as well. There are so many risks involved with injections, such as obtaining HIV or Hepatitis C.

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