The Dangers And Effects Of Crystal Meth Rectal Use (Plugging Meth)

Using crystal meth rectally (plugging) can lead to damaged colon tissue and painful infections. Plugging crystal meth can also result in addiction, dependence, and overdose.

Crystal meth is typically snorted or injected, but some people may use the drug rectally (“plugging”). Meth is a chemical stimulant, and plugging this substance can cause lasting damage to the rectum and colon.

Meth is a man-made drug that is diluted with toxic chemicals like drain cleaner. Street names for meth include ice, crank, crystal, and speed. Rectal use of meth may lead to an intensified high, but can also cause severe medical conditions.

Meth is the second most commonly abused substance across the world, because it’s cheap to make and produces a strong high. People who plug meth are at risk for addiction and overdose, as rectal use causes the drug to hit the bloodstream faster.

Why Do People Plug Crystal Meth (Rectal Use)?

When a person is struggling with meth dependence or addiction, they may look for new ways to achieve the high. If someone is used to smoking or snorting meth, they may wonder what it feels like to plug this substance.

Methamphetamine is water-soluble, so people may use a needle-less syringe to inject a mix of water and meth into the rectum. This method of use sends the drug directly into the bloodstream, and produces a rapid high.

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Contrary to what people may think, plugging meth is not safer than smoking or injecting the drug. Rectal use allows people to take a larger dose than if they were smoking the substance. This could result in a person taking a toxic amount of meth and experiencing an overdose.

If someone is using crystal meth rectally, it may be a sign they are suffering from meth addiction. This drug is highly addictive, and can lead to dependence and withdrawal.

What Happens In The Brain When You Plug Meth?

When a person plugs meth, the drug is absorbed through rectal tissue and enters the bloodstream. The dose hits the brain all at once, which results in a strong rush of euphoria.

Meth causes neurons in the brain to release extra dopamine. This hormone release causes a rush of pleasure, and may cause people to feel talkative and euphoric. However, as the drug’s effects begin to fade, people may experience a difficult comedown period (called a “crash”).

Meth is highly addictive. Even short term use of this drug can result in dependence and addiction. Plugging meth also increases the risk of overdose, because this method of use allows such a high dose of the drug.

Plugging crystal meth can have additional effects on the brain, including:

  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • combativeness
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • altered judgment
  • paranoia, or feeling that someone is out to get you
  • damaged blood vessels
  • stroke

What Happens In The Body When You Plug Meth?

Plugging meth leads to a strong and rapid high. People may feel a rush of well-being, along with high energy. The high from meth can last up to 12 hours, depending on the amount taken.

Meth causes the body to overheat, and people on meth may sweat excessively. As the drug exits a person’s system, they may begin to feel paranoid or jittery, and the body may twitch uncontrollably.

Meth can lead to serious physical consequences, including stroke. Plugging meth may also cause damage to the rectum, which increases a person’s risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Plugging crystal meth can impact the body in additional ways, including:

  • diarrhea
  • decreased appetite
  • wakefulness
  • increased physical activity
  • fast breathing
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • restlessness
  • coma
  • stroke
  • dental problems (“meth mouth”)
  • seizure
  • sleeping problems
  • intense itching that causes skin sores from scratching
  • death

Meth Overdose Symptoms

Overdose rates from stimulants like meth have risen 30 percent in recent years. A person can overdose on meth regardless of the method of use, but plugging meth is especially dangerous. This is due to the large dose that gets deposited directly into the bloodstream.

It can be difficult to gauge the exact dosage when meth is being plugged. If a person ingests a toxic dose (overdose), they may suffer from serious conditions such as seizure or heart attack.

Additional signs of a crystal meth overdose include:

  • sweaty, flushed skin
  • elevated body temperature
  • chest pain
  • trouble breathing
  • stomach pain
  • psychosis

Meth overdose causes the body to overheat, which can lead to kidney damage and organ failure. It’s especially dangerous to take meth with other drugs, which raises the risk of fatal overdose.

Meth Withdrawal And Detox

A person can become addicted to meth even if they have only used the drug short-term. This powerful substance can result in a person building tolerance, where they need higher doses of the drug in order to function. When a person needs meth to function, they are dependent on the drug.

Meth dependence and addiction are a growing problem in the U.S. Because meth abuse has such severe consequences, it can be difficult to treat. It can also be difficult to stop using meth, due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Crystal meth withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • psychosis, including paranoia
  • hallucinations (hearing, feeling, and seeing things that are not there)
  • strong drug cravings
  • suicidal thoughts

Some people continue to take meth simply to avoid the difficult withdrawal symptoms. Sadly, this can lead a person to the downward spiral of meth addiction. Once addicted, many people require medical assistance to get off the substance.

Medical detoxification programs provide therapy and medication that helps reduce withdrawal symptoms. Going through withdrawal can be traumatic, but having supervised support during detox can assist in the process.

Treatment For Meth Addiction

Millions of Americans are feeling the weight of meth addiction every day, and rectal use of this dangerous drug contributes to rising overdose rates.

Rehab centers are available across the country, and many specialize in treating meth addiction. Inpatient treatment centers offer the most in-depth form of addiction treatment, and treatment may include on-site detox programs.

Many addiction treatment centers offer 30-, 60-, 90-day and longer term programs, all of which include individual and group therapy, health and wellness programs, and 12-step support.

To learn more about the dangers and effects of crystal meth rectal use, or to explore treatment options near you, contact one of our specialists today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Methamphetamine

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Mind Over Matter: The Brain's Response to Methamphetamine

U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus - Methamphetamine overdose

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health - Bottoms Up: Methamphetamine Toxicity from an Unusual Route

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health - The burden and management of crystal meth use

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