Plugging heroin is the method of inserting the drug into the rectum. This method is not as common as smoking, snorting, or intravenous injection of the drug.
When a drug is “plugged”, it absorbs into the bloodstream much faster than if it were ingested. This can lead to an intense high.
This method of drug use might also be referred to as “booty bumping”, “boofing”, “hooping”, or “up your bum”.
Why People Plug Heroin
People plug heroin because it creates an intense high. Other drugs people use this way include MDMA, cocaine, and alcohol (“buttchugging”).
Sometimes, people plug heroin because they do not want to leave the “track marks” on their arms and legs which are typical of injecting the drug.
Another reason people might plug heroin is because they have already collapsed the veins in their typical injection sites. Once this happens, it becomes more difficult to inject the drug.
How Is Heroin Plugged?
To plug heroin, people fill a needleless syringe with water and mix in heroin. They then insert the syringe into their rectum and empty its contents.
The effects of heroin will be felt within a matter of seconds to a few minutes when it is taken rectally. The high can be very intense.
Plugging heroin leads to higher risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and sexually transmitted infection (STI). These conditions can be spread through sharing of syringes.
Paraphernalia Associated With Heroin Plugging
Plugging heroin is the least common way of taking the drug. If you believe a loved one could be taking heroin rectally, there are a few items that might signal this type of drug use.
Paraphernalia that may be associated with plugging heroin include:
- heroin syringe
- small plastic cup or shot glass (for mixing heroin with water)
- sterile water pouches, or signs of boiling water to sterilize
- stirrers such as disposable coffee sticks, straws, etc.
- petroleum jelly or lube
Other Methods Of Heroin Abuse
If someone you love is taking heroin through rectal administration, they are likely using this dangerous opiate in other ways, too. Heroin can be snorted, smoked, or injected.
Injecting heroin leads to the most intense and immediate high of any of the methods. However, this method of drug administration also has unique dangers including infection at injection sites, increased risk of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, and higher risk of overdose.
Snorting and smoking heroin also have adverse effects. Smoking the drug can lead to burns on the lips and fingers as well as lung problems, while snorting it leads to infections and bleeding in the nose.
Risks And Side Effects Of Heroin Use
After declining for several years, heroin use increased in the United States recently due to the opioid crisis. Heroin addiction is an extremely dangerous substance use disorder.
Risks and side effects of heroin use include:
- lung problems
- infectious diseases
- heroin abscesses
- tremors and seizures
- damaged or collapsed veins
- heroin drug overdose
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- clouded thinking
Sometimes, harm reduction measures can help reduce the impacts of heroin use.
An example is programs that give people who use heroin naloxone and teach them how to administer it. Naloxone can save someone’s life if they are overdosing.
Treatment Options For Heroin Use
Addiction treatment is a form of healthcare that can help people who struggle with drug abuse. Usually, treatment begins with detox, where withdrawal symptoms are managed. It then moves to inpatient treatment, and finally to outpatient care.
The best inpatient treatment centers follow-up with people after they leave and make sure they are continuing to get great care. They use evidence-based treatment options to combat a person’s addiction.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) might be helpful for opiate addiction. This type of care combines careful administration of prescription drugs with other treatment methods to give the best possible results.
Find Heroin Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Bedrock Recovery Center is an addiction treatment center located outside Boston, MA. We serve the east coast, including cities like New York and Washington, D.C.
Are you ready to start the road to recovery from heroin addiction? Call our helpline today to talk to a treatment specialist.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — Heroin Overdose Data https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/heroin/index.html
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Heroin DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Heroin DrugFacts https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
- The U.S. Department of Justice — Drug Paraphernalia Fast Facts https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs6/6445/6445p.pdf
- The U.S. Department of Justice –– Heroin Fast Facts https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs3/3843/3843p.pdf