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Routes of Administration for Drug Abuse & Their Dangers

Routes of Administration for Drug Abuse & Their Dangers

From sleeping pills to crack cocaine, drugs of all kinds are now being abused.

Some people use these drugs occasionally for recreational purposes while other people cannot seem to go without them. Because of the expansive number of abused drugs as well as the numerous reasons they are being abused, these drugs are also administered in a variety of ways, all of which can be harmful.

The Different Drug Routes of Administration & The Risks for Each

While some come with more added dangers than others, the risks related to each route of administration for abused drugs depends on several different factors. Everything from the length of the addiction to the user’s health history can play a role in the severity of the effects. Some administration routes may seem less intimidating than others, but do not be fooled. As a drug rehab in Chicago, we know very well that there are often unforeseen dangers of every route of administration with abused drugs.


Oral administration is one of the least intimidating routes of administering drugs for many addicts. Both prescription pills and club drugs are frequently taken orally. While there are typically no added dangers related to oral drug administration, it is often associated with more delayed effects than other routes of drug use. These delayed effects may lead to overdose as users who become dependent may continue to take more of the drug than they should before they start to feel the effects. Oral administration of prescription medications may also develop into the use of harder drugs through other routes of administration, so it is important to get prescription drug addiction treatment before this occurs.


In order to get a more immediate high, many drug users will inject these drugs directly into their systems. While drugs can be injected in several different locations in the body, intravenous injection is a common route of administration for drug addicts. While the advantage of IV drug use is a fast high, there can be several complications with intravenous injection such as infections, visible scarring, and damage to the veins.


Some drugs like cocaine often come in powder form and are snorted through the nose. While this route of administration for abused drugs may seem less harmful than an injection, there are several snorting dangers that can range from nosebleeds to holes in the nose.


Marijuana and meth are often smoked by users. There has also been a recent rise in the use of e-cigarettes. While smoking can be an easy and less intimidating way to abuse drugs than other means of administration like injection or snorting, there are several health dangers of smoking drugs, including lasting damage to the respiratory system. Get methamphetamine addiction treatment before these problems develop.


Similar to smoking, some people will inhale chemicals recreationally in order to get high. This process, known as huffing, can lead to death after just one time.


While it is not as popular as other routes of administration for drug abuse, rectal administration is possible. Better known as boofing drugs or butt-chugging when related to alcohol, some young adults will try this simply out of curiosity. While it may seem laughable, there are several dangers of boofing drugs that can have serious and lasting effects on the body.

While there is more than one route of administration for abused drugs and all of them come with their own risks, substance abuse of any kind can have serious consequences, including addiction, health problems, and overdose. Instead of putting yourself at risk any longer or watching someone you love put themselves at risk, get help immediately.

At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer programming that can help patients overcome their substance abuse problems for good. Reach out to us today at 888-280-4763 to begin.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Routes of Administration for Drug Abuse & Their Dangers
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