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What Is Boofing and Why Do People Do It?

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What Is Boofing and Why Do People Do It?

Could you tell me what boofing is and why people do it? I’ve heard it involves putting substances in liquid form up your anus. If that’s true, how does it stay up there long enough to be absorbed?

The fabled route of administration! Boofing (AKA booty bumping) is stigmatized and misunderstood for a number of reasons, one of which is (sadly) homophobia and general disdain for butt stuff. The practice of putting drugs in your bum may sound silly, but it’s actually a very effective method of increasing the bioavailability and intensity of certain drugs, and may actually reduce some of the risks/enhance the benefits of others. 

There are three main reasons why this might be the case: 1) Your anus contains mucus membranes, which are essential for absorbing many common drugs; 2) oral administration of drugs requires “first-pass metabolism,” which means that the drugs go through a breakdown process in the gut/liver before entering your bloodstream (this can change their composition entirely or influence their onset time); 3) smoking, snorting, and injecting all carry their own risks that can be reduced or eliminated via boofing.

2C-B, for instance, is a popular substance to boof because it hurts like all hell when you snort it and it often makes you fairly nauseous when you take it orally. Other drugs like Adderall might simply have a smoother come-up when boofed, or you could be choosing to boof something because you’re trying to be less hard on your nasal cavities or veins. Booty bumping meth or opioids in particular is a popular injection alternative, to bring on a more substantial rush without harming veins. 

Boofing doesn’t come without risks. Your anus is sensitive and you want to be careful to not cause microabrasions or infection. This risk is exacerbated by using unsterile equipment/reusing equipment (seriously, please don’t do this) and putting crystals or powder directly up your butt (either straight up or in tissue paper). Using more abrasive routes of administration on your sensitive butthole can make you more susceptible to STIs like HIV and Hep C, which is especially of concern if you’re getting freaky after bumping. 

For best results, dilute your drugs in water and draw them up into a syringe with no needle in it, or a lube injector specifically. Lie on your side and insert the syringe/injector (NO NEEDLE), then slowly push the plunger. Remain on your side for 10 minutes or so to let the water absorb properly. While you’re unlikely to have a leaky experience if you stand up instead, the sensation might be a little weird. (You will want to leave the syringe inserted for a few minutes regardless, though. Follow the linked guides above for more specific information.)

So much attention is given to the benefits of psychedelic therapy in the media, but what about recreational usage? Can using psychedelics with the intention of having fun be transformational, and possibly therapeutic, as well? I feel like it’s been positive for me.

Oh, absolutely. There is no cut-and-dry way to get a therapeutic experience out of anything, really. What that means is always going to be unique to you. The lesson of a psychedelic experience can be subtle, too – maybe it’s in valuing social connections, moving through transient experiences, or dealing with changing perceptual states with grace. Having fun is a critical part of being alive, but no two people conceptualize fun in exactly the same way. 

And honestly, I think that the practice of reimagining what “intention” actually is/means is important as well. Intention doesn’t have to be around the kind of experience you have, it can also be around the way that you respond to and interact with your experience. 

For example, setting an intention of being extra attentive to your own needs during a trip has nothing to do with the contents of it. I find this to be the most flexible kind of intention setting that has led me to the best outcomes, personally. This is also reflective of the often-narrow views of western medicine, which tends to delegitimize complete-person experiences as having inherent intersectional value. Many things are chain reactions that lead to unexpected outcomes, and having experiences with psychedelic substances is no exception.

Is it possible that commercially available drug test kits can miss adulterants? I get really worried that the kits might miss tiny amounts of fentanyl and stress out when I share my drugs with friends (usually ketamine and MDMA). I test a batch twice, but would love to know how reliable testing is and if there is a “better” way to test.

Yes, absolutely. The first thing to note is that reagents (“kits”) cannot detect fentanyl even if the packaging claims that they can. No colorimetric reagent is sensitive enough to do so, but we see false advertising around this all the time. Only fentanyl test strips and laboratory equipment are calibrated with enough specificity and sensitivity to pick up fentanyl, which is active in tiny quantities. 

Fentanyl test strips, when used correctly, are reliable tools with caveats (as with all at-home drug checking materials). They remain the gold standard. There are a few things that decrease their accuracy/reliability:

1. Not testing your substance with reagents first. If you’re testing meth or MDMA (or a small handful of other methylated drugs that are usually so obscure it’s not worth mentioning them), you’ll need to use different dilution ratios than if you’re testing all other drugs. This means that if you’re trying to see if your Adderall contains fentanyl, but you didn’t check to see if your Adderall is actually meth (this is extremely common), you might get a false positive using fentanyl test strips because you added too much water to dilute the drug that you were actually testing.

2. Not using the correct dilution with the strips. If you’re testing meth or MDMA, you want to add 1 tsp of water per 10 mg of powder. If you’re testing anything else, you want to add 1 tsp of water per 50 mg of powder. We know that this is effective for avoiding false positives because BTNX (the strip manufacturers) agreed to quality control test every single new batch of strips on lab samples of meth and MDMA, and DanceSafe tests each new batch on street samples too. 

Adding too much water to the sample you are testing can dilute the fentanyl too much to detect it. Adding too little water can over-concentrate your solution and lead to a false positive. If you get a positive result, it’s extremely important to not just keep adding more water until you get a negative result. Triple check your dilution methods.

3. You can’t test MDMA pressed pills. They contain an unknown quantity of both MDMA and binder, which means that you can’t dilute them properly and might get a false positive or negative. Even if your dealer is well-intentioned, only someone who actually weighed out and pressed the pills (or an overseas lab like Energy Control) could know how much MDMA is in them, and even that is an approximation give or take a few milligrams.

4. There are indeed some cuts (adulterants) that will throw false positives, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). For this reason, all negative results should be viewed as “proceed with caution” and all properly-tested positive results should be viewed as accurate and responded to accordingly. Because so many substances are now adulterated, you should never use substances alone. Always have Narcan on hand to reverse an opioid overdose – even if you’ve tested your drugs in advance.  

About Your Psychedelic Auntie

When we have questions about psychedelics, we often consult our Auntie. An Auntie can be a person of any gender who offers wise advice about psychedelic substances and how to effectively use them. Lucid News is asking a collection of well-informed people to step in as Auntie and answer your questions about psychedelics. Some of the best peer-based, accurate information about psychedelic substances and harm reduction comes from DanceSafe, a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1998. DanceSafe provides health and safety services at festivals and events. This month, our Psychedelic Auntie is DanceSafe Programs and Communications Coordinator Rachel Clark. Send your questions to the Psychedelic Auntie via the Lucid News contact page and watch this space for the answers.

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