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What cops need to know about ‘buttchugging’ (yes, it’s really a thing)

Taking drugs anally has been going on for quite 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.

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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 cops 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 has been going on for some time. Meth users have been getting high by “plugging” their drug of choice for two decades. 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 bloodstream, 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.

Keith is a retired Police Sergeant who worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for 29 years. He was named as California’s Narcotics Officer of the Year and is a prior winner of MADD’s California Hero Award. He has years of experience as a Narcotics Detective and a Narcotics Unit Supervisor and is a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor (IACP #3292). He has developed several drug courses for the California Narcotics Officers Association, California POST and California Colleges, and currently consults POST on drug investigation procedures. Keith has taught thousands of officers and businesses around the world about drug use, drug trends, compliance training and drug investigations. He is recognized as an international drug expert and has testified as an expert in court proceedings on drug cases, homicide cases and rape prosecutions. Keith is the Founder and President of Graves & Associates, a company dedicated to providing drug training to law enforcement and private industry. Keith is a member of the Police1 Editorial Advisory Board.