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How Drugs Are Taken

There are many different types of drugs and the way they are taken or administered varies depending upon what they are being used for.

People take drugs for any number of reasons and the methods in which the drugs are taken determines how fast the drugs will take effect on the body and/or mind and how quickly the user reacts to them.

All drugs have properties that alters the mind and body in one form or another. This is important in many ways. The severity of the illness, injury, the location of the illness or injury, the mental and physical prowess of the person taking the drug, and the potency of the drug itself determines how a drug should be taken or administered.

There are times when the person who is taking a particular drug cannot decide for themselves due to their age, their mental capacity, their physical state of being, or if the drug can only be administered in a particular way.

Listed below are a number of ways that drugs can be administered:

1. Oral: Most drugs are taken by mouth. The most common forms of drugs that are administered by mouth are those that are in pills, jells, vitamins, liquids, and sprays. When drugs and medications are taken by mouth, they act slowly because they enter the bloodstream through the digestion process.

2. Intravenous (IV): IV's (needles) are used to inject drugs directly into the blood stream for quick and effective results. In hospital, dental, and other medical settings, injections are sometimes made directly into arteries, the spinal cord, sternum, chest, joints, and directly into the heart.

3. Intramuscular injection: Drugs and vaccines are injected directly into muscles to deliver medications to help fight flu, pneumonia and other illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

4. Absorption through the skin: Drugs that are rubbed onto the skin such as nicotine, fentanyl, rubbing alcohol, body lotions, acne creams, moisturizers, and other liquid and oil based medications.

5. Smoking: Cigarettes, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, marijuana, and other drugs are smoked and inhaled through the mouth.

6. Snorted: Drugs that are sniffed into the nostrils such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.

7. Insuflated: Drugs that are blown into the nostrils include vapors, powders, and other crushed or powdered substances.

8. Absorption under the tongue or through the cheek: This includes certain medications, smokeless tobacco products, etc.

9. Eye drops: Medication administered by dropping solutions directly into the eyes.

10. Rectal suppositories: Drugs that are inserted into the anus and absorbed within the anal cavity.

The use of needles to inject drugs directly into the body is dangerous and should never be attempted without the supervision of a licensed medical professional.

Most over the counter drugs are considered safe by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even so, all medications should be taken only as directed.

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