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Snorting/tooting drugs FAQ
harm reduction info and health risks explained

up the arse
chasing heroin

There is increasing evidence that suggests that the sharing of cocaine tooting straws and equipment is a factor in the transmission of Hepatitus C.

Hep C is a serious viral infection of the liver that can result in death. It is suggested that during nasal ingestion of cocaine the blood vessels in the mucous membrane become dilated and ruptture creating a route for transmission of this virus.

The virus can be transmitted in nasal mucous as well as blood. The sharing of cocaine tooting equipment should be considered a high-risk activity.

As many as 10% of patients diagnosed with Hep C attribute their infection to this route.

The chances of catching Hep C in this manner can be eliminated by using 'post it notes' - available in most stationers, Woolworths, W.H.Smiths and office suppliers, tearing one off and rolling it into a straw as required then disposing of it after use .

Try not to use bank notes as they may well have been used before and could be contaminated with blood products


Don't rack out your lines of toot ,etc ,on any available surface in a toilet , there is a strong chance that you will also beak up any germs ( stappacochi etc ) or viruses ( hep C ) that survive on poorly cleaned surfaces etc .

A nasal douche of luke warm salt water can also help reduce the risk of infection and also help minimise the damage done by tooting.

Don't toot crap gear, the cuts in crap gear often do not dissolve and can leave a lot of cack in the nasal pathways ,sinuses, etc .

If you get a sinus infection as a result of tooting seek treatment A.S.A.P - a sinus infection can easily become chronic (and extremely painful) if left untreated.

Do not toot on a daily basis - if you are then you have a problem as it can really fuck your face /sinuses and teeth up if you persist and ignore the warning signs!


IF YOU MUST DO IT, CHASE HEROIN RATHER THAN TOOT IT! You are 4 times as likely to OD from tooting heroin as you are from smoking it.

Smoking Heroin gives a much more immediate hit and is far more controllable than tooting. If you toot a line of gear you have NO idea of its strength etc until it hits, which may well be too late.

Chasing H gives you the chance to assess how strong the gear is before doing it all.

Do not try to treat the damage done by tooting with antiseptic sprays, etc., unless your GP/doctor instructs you to - some of the over-the-counter sprays for treating sinus /nasal passageway problems can cause just as much grief as the drugs for a regular tooter who has done some damage.

If you are getting problems, go to a doctor and lay off tooting for a while and give the membranes and tissues time to repair.


Drugs up the arse

Although, in theory, this is a quick and effective means of ingesting drugs and getting them into the bloodstream with a minimum of interference from the liver (the anus is richly provided with blood vessels that are near to the surface etc ) in practice it's a wasteful and impractical means of doing 'gear' - there is just too high a risk of 'leakage' and 'blowback' (uurgh!)

Chasing Heroin
As to chasing Brown (Heroin/smack), it is a very effective means of getting heroin into the bloodstream, gives a hit that is comparable to injecting - though safer by far - and a much quicker means of ingesting the drug than snorting - which can be quite wasteful (not all the gear is absorbed by this method and the cut goes up your nose rather than staying on the foil).

Good quality foil is the key to effective chasing - make sure you run a lighter over it first to burn of any contaminants/coating etc. Chasing gear is the method recommended by most harm reductionists!


Do remember that heroin is addictive by whatever means you ingest it and do it too often and for too long and you will get a habit that will last a life time.

Opiates do - in some people - make permanent changes to the brain's endogenous endorphin liguand system precipitating the syndrome currently known as opiate addiction/dependancy.

If so affected, you may end up requiring Opiate Maintenance treatment (methadone /morphine/Diamorphine/buprenorhine etc) for the rest of your life

If you want to find out more about this condition go to and look up the downloads section for some materials on the science behind opiate dependency.

More info:
UK Assembly on Hepatitis C 020 7735 7705 (UK) (US)
UK Harm Reduction Web Site


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Special note:
This site is all about harm reduction. We realise that some people will take drugs no matter what advice they are given, so we have reproduced this guide for information purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are being coerced into taking drugs, or are in any doubt about taking a substance, our advice is to always refuse.

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