Updated on August 14, 2023
7 min read

What is Boofing? Is It Safer Than Other Drug Use Methods?

Boofing, a method of injecting drugs rectally, is an increasingly popular form of drug consumption. Users, particularly the youth, favor its faster effect onset.

However, boofing comes with significant risks. This blog discusses these hazards so you can learn the risks associated with the activity.

What Does “Boofing” Drugs Mean?

Boofing is a slang term for ingesting drugs through the anus. It’s also called booty bumping, hooping, plugging, butt chugging, or UYB (up your bum). 

The substances that people commonly use to boof include:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine

Users can consume most drugs, including alcohol, in this manner. Some people associate the practice with anal sex, but this is a misconception.

Why Do People Boof Drugs?

Some people boof because it results in a faster high. The thin surface and the large number of blood vessels in the rectum make substances reach the bloodstream quickly.

Boofing allows drugs and alcohol to absorb quickly without injecting or drinking them. Unlike oral consumption, they don't need to pass the digestive system before getting absorbed into the bloodstream.


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What are the Side Effects & Risks of Boofing? 

Boofing poses many risks, and there are side effects. For example:

Damage to Anus

Boofing drugs can increase the risk of damaging the anus. You can accidentally tear the internal tissue of your anus, which can cause pain and bleeding.

The effects of damaging your rectum from boofing include:

  • Bloody stool
  • A constant feeling of needing to use the bathroom
  • Inability to control bowel movement
  • Blocked blood flow to parts of the intestine
  • Cell death

Severe Side Effects of Rectal Damage

The most severe cases will need a colostomy to fix. This type of surgery diverts part of the colon away from a damaged portion, directing it to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall.

You should avoid boofing if you have a pre-existing condition in the rectal area. It's likely to get worse if you partake in such activity.


As the mucous membrane of the anus becomes damaged, it may increase the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The risk gets higher after boofing repeatedly. This is especially dangerous for people engaging in anal sex.

Boofing increases the risk of contracting infections like:

  • Hepatitis C
  • Chlamydia-related lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Bacterial or fungal infections


Because boofing is relatively new, there's no well-defined dosage to avoid a drug overdose. Although you might take the average amount orally, you can accidentally take too much without realizing it.


You can also end up over-amping on the drug because the effects hit much faster than usual. Over-amping occurs when you experience a non-fatal overdose of amphetamines.

Alcohol Poisoning

If you're boofing alcohol, you can increase the risk of alcohol poisoning. By consuming alcohol through the rectum, you decrease your body's ability to fight alcohol poisoning. This is because the anus doesn't have the enzymes to break down alcohol.

Symptoms of Overdose From Boofing

The symptoms of a boofing overdose include:

  • Slowed or halted breathing
  • Limp body
  • Blue-tinged fingernails or lips
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Confusion or irritability
  • Seizures and shaking

If you or a loved one exhibit any of these signs, seek medical help immediately. These symptoms may progress quickly and lead to serious consequences.

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Is Boofing Safer Than Injecting, Sniffing, or Smoking Drugs?

Any method you use for ingesting or misusing an illicit drug is dangerous. There are different risks associated with varying forms of ingestion. Some of these are more dangerous than others.

However, boofing can be a safer alternative to injecting or snorting drugs. It can help you avoid the risks associated with the latter methods, such as:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Abscesses
  • Endocarditis
  • Bloodstream infection
  • Bloody noses
  • Nasal tissue damage
  • Respiratory damage

In some cases, boofing might be safer because it makes it easier for some to moderate their drug use. However, boofing comes with its risks, as mentioned above. Most people consider sniffing or smoking drugs safer than boofing when taking appropriate safety measures.

What Do You Need to Boof?

Boofing might seem unappealing to many people. However, someone addicted to a drug might want to hide some side effects of other drug use methods. This prompts them to try boofing.

Boofing requires:

  • A syringe
  • A clean shot glass or small cup for mixing
  • Sterile water
  • Something to stir with
  • Petroleum jelly or another type of lubricant
  • Vitamin E capsules
  • A scale for measuring drug dosage
  • Some people keep a second drug on hand to reverse a possible overdose

How Does Boofing Work?

Like other methods of drug use, boofing is dangerous and comes with risks and side effects. It can also lead to an overdose.

Despite this, people with a substance addiction may still choose to boof. The process includes the following steps:

  1. Start with a bowel movement to avoid messy complications
  2. Plan your dosage—most people start small, even if they’re experienced drug users—and the amount of water you’ll dilute the drug with
  3. Pour the water into the mixing cup
  4. Add and dissolve the drug in the water
  5. Fill and prepare the syringe
  6. Lay on your back, side, or stomach, or stand with one leg raised
  7. Insert the syringe in your anus about a centimeter deep and release the plunger of the syringe
  8. Once empty, remove the syringe and dispose of it

Some people insert the vitamin E tablet following the removal of the syringe. They believe it helps repair the tiny tears caused by the process.

What Does Boofing Feel Like? 

Boofing results in a faster high. Some people who have used this method say they feel the sensations in their limbs and torso more than when they ingest a drug orally or smoke it. Some people also say they feel sexually aroused when boofing.

However, not all of the sensations from boofing are pleasant. Some drug users describe this method as uncomfortable, irritating, or painful.

How Long Does Boofing Take to Work?

Most people experience the effects of boofing within minutes. Depending on the substance and dosage size, it can last several hours. 

Methamphetamine typically takes about 3 to 5 minutes to take effect. Heroin tends to be faster. In some cases, it takes effect as quickly as intravenous drug use.

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Do You Have a Substance Use Problem?

Recognizing that you’ve developed a substance use problem is important in recovering from the disorder. 

The symptoms of addiction include:

  • Being unable to eliminate the use of or cut back on a substance even when you want to
  • Obsessing over your ability to use the substance again or taking action to create an ongoing supply of the substance
  • Experiencing intense cravings
  • Focusing a lot of time on getting, using, and recovering from the substance 
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work and school 
  • Experiencing personal problems
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Engaging in risky behavior 
  • Continuing use despite recognizing the harm it’s causing
  • Experiencing symptoms associated with withdrawal 
  • Developing tolerance and needing larger or more frequent doses to achieve the same effect
  • Lack of motivation or energy that isn’t focused on the use of the substance
  • Neglecting hygiene and appearance
  • Committing criminal acts to gain access to the substance

Treatment Options for Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Many treatment options are available for people with a substance use disorder. They vary from person to person and are most effective when combined with another treatment method.

The two most common drug addiction treatment approaches include pharmacological and behavioral methods. 

Click to learn more about the most effective types of addiction treatment:


Boofing is an alternative method of ingesting a drug through the anus. Some consider it safer than injecting, snorting, or smoking.

It involves combining the drug with water and inserting it into the anus via a syringe. The effects of boofing can last for several hours. However, it has risks, and users should do it cautiously.

Seek medical attention if you develop any side effects associated with boofing. Additionally, those struggling with substance use disorder should get help from trained professionals to avoid further health complications or death due to an overdose.

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Updated on August 14, 2023

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