Plugging Drugs | Substances, Dangers, & Treatment

Plugging is taking drugs up through the rectal cavity. The rectum contains sensitive blood vessels that absorb drugs quickly. However, this method of abuse comes with significant side effects, including an increased risk of overdose.

Plugging is taking drugs up through the rectal cavity. The rectum contains sensitive blood vessels that absorb drugs quickly and send them into your bloodstream. 

With oral ingestion, drugs go through your digestive system first and take some time to be effective. Rectal drug use elicits a stronger, faster effect, but it comes with a high risk of overdose, addiction, and other serious health problems.

How Do You Plug Drugs?

The most common way to plug is by dissolving a drug in sterile water and shooting it into the anus with a syringe with no needle. You can also stick a pill directly into your anus, but this may be less effective if it has a coating.

These methods of drug plugging may be called booty bumping, shafting, or boofing.

You can also rub a powdered drug around the anus (dabbing) or roll it in cigarette paper and insert it into the rectum (stuffing). These methods are more dangerous because they raise the risk of tearing and infection. 

Rectal administration of alcohol is called butt chugging. You do it by pouring alcohol into a small tube inserted into the rectum.

When people plug drugs, they often use lubrication and lie down to prevent anything from leaking back out. If you have a bowel movement after plugging, it could remove a lot of the drug from your system, wasting it.

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Which Drugs Can You Plug?

You can plug any drug, but the most effective are powdered drugs that dissolve in water, pills that are crushed and ground into powder, or pills with no coating. 

Some common drugs for booty bumping are:

Benzodiazepines like alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan) aren’t commonly plugged because they’re fat-soluble and don’t dissolve well in water. Taking them in the butt isn’t more effective than taking them orally.

Why Do People Plug Drugs?

Drug plugging allows a higher bioavailability (more of the drug gets into your bloodstream) than other routes of administration. It takes effect quickly and produces a more intense high.

Some people say the high they get from plugging spreads through the body and limbs. Snorting (insufflation) and smoking produce an intoxication of the brain that you feel more in your head.

Booty bumping is an alternative method of drug use for people who don’t want to risk complications from injection, smoking, or snorting. Or for people who already have these complications and want to try a different route, at least to give their veins, lungs, or nose a break.

Individuals who are severely addicted may have collapsed veins or abscesses from drug injection, damaged lungs from smoking, or destroyed nasal passages from snorting. In desperation to still get high, they try drug plugging.

Dangers Of Plugging Drugs

Some drugs are made to be inserted into the anus for medical purposes. These medicines are closely monitored and prescribed only when oral ingestion isn’t an option. 

Substance abuse by drug plugging is another story. It can damage your rectum, spread disease, raise the risk of overdose, and make addiction more likely.

Damage To The Rectum & Colon

Inserting a pill or a syringe into the anus can irritate or tear the delicate rectal tissue. Lubrication helps but it doesn’t prevent all harm, especially if you plug drugs regularly. Your rectum will become inflamed, which will probably make it hurt when you poop.

Booty bumping or butt chugging takes some of the drugs into your digestive system and colon. It can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and colon lining, causing severe constipation or diarrhea.

Repeatedly inserting a foreign object into the anus stretches it out and can weaken the muscles. If drug plugging damages the anal sphincter, it can cause fecal incontinence (difficulty holding in poop or gas).

Infection & Disease

If you share booty bumping paraphernalia, like needleless syringes or lubricant injectors, you risk spreading sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Having anal sex after plugging comes raises the risk of disease and infection too.

Drug plugging weakens the rectal area, making you more susceptible to infection. Even if you don’t share paraphernalia, reusing syringes that aren’t clean or sterile can give you an infection.

Adverse Effects

All prescription drugs have side effects. Healthcare professionals prescribe them carefully to limit your risk. But if you ignore medical advice and abuse drugs, you have a greater chance of experiencing adverse effects.

Common side effects of prescription drugs that may be intensified by plugging are:

  • high blood pressure
  • raised body temperature
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • increased heart rate
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • itching

Increased Risk Of Overdose

Because plugging takes drugs quickly into blood circulation, the same dose you safely took orally may be too much rectally. It can be harder to measure an appropriate dose for booty bumping. The effects may be different and unexpected.

Taking an extended-release drug in the rectum can be very dangerous. These drugs are formulated to be gradually distributed in your body throughout the day. Putting it in your butt takes the whole dose into your bloodstream, which may cause acute toxicity.

Drug Contamination

An increasing amount of drugs across the United States are laced with fentanyl, a highly potent opioid. In Ohio in 2021, around 80 percent of accidental drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl. 

Often, drug dealers don’t tell buyers they’ve put fentanyl in the supply, so you might think you’re safe but you can easily overdose. 

Only a few grains of fentanyl can kill you no matter how you take it, but rectal administration is especially risky since it goes right into your bloodstream.

Physical Dependence

When you take a depressant drug for a period of time, your body adjusts to it. Physical dependence is a condition in which your body needs a drug to function normally. The longer you abuse a drug, the more severe physical dependence will become.

If you’re physically dependent on a drug and try to stop taking it or decrease your usage, your body will react adversely. Withdrawal symptoms are often painful and uncomfortable. 

Drug plugging increases the risk and possibly the severity of physical dependence because of its intense, short-term effect.


Addiction occurs when you repeatedly abuse a drug. Drugs of abuse raise your brain’s levels of dopamine, a reward chemical that reinforces behavior. The more you plug drugs, the more you’re boosting brain chemicals that associate substance use with good feelings. 

After a while, your brain structure changes to account for your drug use. The brain stops producing natural chemicals and relies on drugs to maintain emotional balance. 

Once you’re addicted, it’s very hard to stop booty bumping, even if you want to. 

Treatment For Drug Plugging

If you or a loved one struggle with drug plugging, butt chugging, or any substance use disorder, it’s never the wrong time to ask for help. Rectal drug use can cause irreversible damage. The sooner you start healing, the greater your chance of complete recovery.

Drug-plugging addiction treatment is available across the country and the state of Ohio. At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer medical detox and evidence-based treatment programs tailored to your needs. 

We specialize in inpatient care that separates you from substance use triggers and teaches you to live a healthier life. Our drug rehab programs include exercise, mental health care, support groups, and behavioral health therapy

You don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to one of our specialists today to learn more.

  1. CNN Health,the%20recipient%20gets%20drunk%20faster.
  2. National Library of Medicine
  3. National Library of Medicine
  4. Sherrod Brown,than%20four%20months%20last%20year.

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 16, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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