What medics need to know about 'buttchugging'

Taking drugs per rectum has been going on for quite some time — meth users have been getting high by "plugging" their drug of choice for two decades

By Keith Graves

In one day, the internet was almost broken by a Twitter user named @freakmommy. A graphic photo posted to the user's account brought national attention to the practice of "buttchugging"  taking a substance rectally to get high.

It's important for medics, cops and other emergency responders to keep up with current drug trends  not only what drugs are currently available on the street, but how abusers are taking them. Taking drugs anally — per rectum — has been going on for some time — meth users have been getting high by "plugging" their drug of choice for two decades.

For the last few years, pill poppers have begun to latch on to the practice.
For the last few years, pill poppers have begun to latch on to the practice. (WikiCommons Image)

At one point, there was even a website dedicated to helping users safely "plug" their drug without getting hurt. Meth, after all, is made up of very uncomfortable shards (they don't call it "crystal" and "glass" for nothing). But while this practice of rectal delivery has existed in some form for a long time, the list of substances abusers are choosing to take rectally has grown in recent years.  

For the last few years, pill poppers have begun to latch on to the practice. "Booty bumping" is often used as a term for taking MDMA and similar drugs rectally. The girl in the aforementioned picture posted to Twitter was taking cough syrup, more than likely containing DXM, a dissociative anesthetic. Users will drink an entire bottle of cough syrup containing DXM to experience a very intense high.

People are also using alcohol in the practice. Users will soak tampons in alcohol and insert them rectally to get drunk. This is where the term "buttchugging" originated from.

Why do users do it? People take certain drugs rectally because it provides a more intense high. If the user were to eat or drink their drug of choice, it would meander through the digestive system until it finally reached the blood stream, where the drug could then cross the blood/brain barrier. However, if the user were to take a pill or drink rectally, they bypass the stomach and get the drug in the intestine, where it is rich with veins to suck it up and quickly get it into the blood system. The anus is very veinous; by taking the drug rectally, more of the drug gets into the bloodstream and creates a stronger high.

So there you have it. Now you know all there is to know about buttchugging, plugging and booty bumping. The world of the drug user never ceases to amaze.

About the author
Keith Graves has been a Police Officer in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1990 and is currently a sergeant assigned to patrol. Keith is a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor (IACP #3292) and teaches both the DRE course and the CNOA Drug Abuse Recognition Course. Keith has also taught at the Basic Police Academy and has developed a number of POST certified drug courses. Keith has held assignments as a Narcotics/Vice Detective, COPPS Officer, Traffic Officer, Training Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant and SWAT Team Leader. Keith has taught thousands of officers and businesses about drug use, drug trends, compliance training and drug investigations. Graves & Associates provides training and consulting services to law enforcement, probation, parole, corrections as well as corporate partners. Contact Keith Graves

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