The Various Methods of Drug Use

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The Various Methods of Drug Use

There are multiple methods that an individual may utilize when using a substance. Some of the primary methods include oral consumption, smoking, snorting, and inhalants. All drugs, especially those used illegally, can present possible health consequences regardless of how they are consumed or injected by users.

Certain methods are also utilized that can help the individual experience the effects of the drug quicker or because the effects will be more powerful than they normally would be. It is important to understand what each of these methods is and the dangers associated with them. 

The Oral Consumption Method 

The oral consumption method involves swallowing a pill or alcohol. With this route, the substance will first have to be processed and then enter the bloodstream before the individual can feel its effects. Thus, when it comes to engaging in substance use, this would be considered the slowest absorption method. 

While this may seem like it would be a less risky method, it can sometimes cause people to increase the dose of a substance because they feel as if it is not affecting them. This, in turn, can cause them to take too much or eventually become addicted. 

For example, someone with a high tolerance for alcohol may find themselves able to ingest several drinks over a short period of time without feeling the effects. This can lead them to drink even more, which is a dangerous slope. Once the body has had the time to process the substance, it can wreak havoc on various systems and organs. It can lead to damage to the liver, stomach, and intestines and cause alcohol poisoning. 

The Smoking Method 

Many people will opt to smoke a substance because this method will get the drug into the bloodstream faster than it would through the process of oral consumption. Tobacco and marijuana are some of the substances that are most frequently smoked. Some other drugs that can also be smoked include: 

  • Cocaine 
  • Meth
  • Heroin
  • MDMA/ecstasy 
  • Ketamine 
  • Opium 
  • Some forms of prescription drugs 

There are both short and long-term risks associated with this method of drug use. Some short-term risks include increased heart rate and blood pressure, irritability, headache, visual disturbances, anxiety, and paranoia. 

Some long-term effects include lung cancer, respiratory distress, irregular heartbeat, blood pressure problems, impaired memory, and trouble sleeping. 

The Snorting Method 

Snorting is another relatively fast way of experiencing the effects of a drug. Because the nasal lining is so thin, the drug can be absorbed very quickly. In fact, people may begin to feel it almost immediately. Cocaine is the drug that is most commonly used in this way. Other drugs that may be snorted include: 

  • Heroin
  • MDMA
  • Methamphetamines 
  • Opioids
  • Stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall 

This drug use method is very dangerous and can quickly lead to overdose. Some other risk factors associated with this method include chronic runny nose, chronic nosebleeds, loss of smell, trouble swallowing, and organ damage. 

The Injection Method 

This method involves injecting a substance into one’s body intravenously through the use of a needle. People will use this method because the drug will enter their bloodstream immediately, leading to powerful side effects. Thus, they will not have to wait for the body to process the substance. This is considered one of the most dangerous and addictive methods of drug use. Drugs that are commonly injected into the body include: 

  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine 
  • Steroids 
  • Heroin
  • Barbiturates 
  • Benzodiazepines 
  • Meth
  • Illegally obtained prescription drugs 

One of the reasons that this drug use method is considered so dangerous is because it can lead to the transfer of infectious diseases, especially when needles are shared. Some of these infectious diseases could include HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Other risk factors associated with this drug use method include damaged arteries and veins, blood clots, unstoppable bleeding, and organ failure. 

The Inhalation Method  

Some drugs are meant to be inhaled, such as medications related to asthma. Some people inhale addictive substances with the intent to use them for getting high. This process is sometimes referred to as “huffing.” A few substances commonly used in this manner include: 

  • Aerosol sprays such as spray paint, hair spray, vegetable oil spray, or deodorant spray
  • Gas that can often be found in commercial products such as propane tanks, certain lighters, dust remover spray, and whipped cream dispensers
  • Nitrites, including amyl, butyl, and cyclohexyl 

The dangers associated with this method of drug use include a weakened immune system, damage to red blood cells, heart problems, seizures, choking, or suffocation. 

There are various methods of substance use. Some examples include oral consumption, smoking, snorting, injection, and inhalation. While every drug, especially those used illegally, can present possible health consequences, the method of drug use can make this risk even higher. For example, when people inject a substance intravenously through the use of a needle, they will experience the effects much faster than if they were to use other methods of drug use. However, this method is considered to be especially dangerous as it can lead to damaged arteries and veins, blood clots, organ failure, an increased risk of addiction, the transmission of infectious diseases, and overdose. The bottom line is that there is no method of illegal drug use that is considered “safe.” If you or a loved one struggles with a substance use condition, our team at The Kimberly Center can help. Call (855) 452-3683 today to learn more.

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