Injecting, shafting, smoking or snorting

On this page we talk about the different ways that people take drugs associated with PnP and provide safety and harm reduction advice. This content addresses the physical act of consuming drugs in detail and may be a trigger for some people. 


Some people might inject drugs like crystal when combining sex and drugs. Sometimes this is also called blasting, slamming or ‘having a whack’.

  • Sterile equipment: If you’re injecting use sterile equipment as injecting carries a risk for blood borne viruses like HIV and hep C. HIV dies quickly outside the body, but hep C can live in dried specks of blood for four or five days. In Australia we have free and easy to access Needle and Syringe Programs, new injecting equipment can also be bought from some pharmacies. Taking more equipment than you think you’ll need helps prevent any temptation to re-use or share.
  • Don’t share: Keep your own equipment separate and marked, using a new syringe and your own equipment for every hit and putting it in a sharps bin when you’re done. Using coloured fits that are available at most NSP’s, choosing your colour and sticking to that colour is a great way to prevent sharing. Don’t recap your needle – just put it straight into the sharps bin after you’ve had your hit.
  • Injecting and GHB: We strongly recommend that you avoid injecting GHB, it can be very dangerous, but if you do decide to inject, dilute the GHB, dose cautiously, start with a small dose first.

There’s more information on Pivot Point about how to prepare for injecting and how to inject


Crystal is a drug that can be (and is often) smoked. When someone smokes crystal, the effects of the drug are felt within three to seven seconds.

  • Equipment: Use a shatter-proof Pyrex pipe. Other pipes can get too hot and give off toxic fumes. Avoid using broken or cracked pipes, damaged pipes can lead to transmission of BBVs.
  • Burn correctly: With your lighter create a small flame, it shouldn’t touch the bowl of the pipe.
  • Inhale slowly: Inhale slowly and don’t hold the smoke in. Holding smoking in your lungs won’t increase the effect and may damage them.
  • Clean your pipe: If you smoke from a black pipe you may cause more harm to your lungs. To clean you should soak in napisan and clean with magic sponge.
  • Oral health: Drink water, use lip balm, and chew gum. These things will help your mouth stay moist and reduce cracks, bleeding, blisters and risk of hepatitis C transmission.
  • Don’t share: For many, sharing a pipe might be part of the social experience of using the drug this way, be mindful that this does carry some infection risks.


Shafting or booty bumping involves inserting drugs in your arse and allowing the drug to enter your blood stream through your anal walls.

  • Shafting and crystal: Dissolve the solution in a liquid, or encase in a gel cap. Don’t rub crystal into your arse as this will scratch and burn. Don’t have anal sex for 10-15 minutes afterwards. Fucking before crystal has dissolved can result in small tears to the anus.
  • Shafting and GHB: Remember GHB is an acid, it burns your mouth, so it might burn your arse too. Dilute it in plenty of water and syringe it.
  • Take it slow: The mode of delivery into the bloodstream is rapid when you shaft, much faster than swallowing, be careful with your dose.


It is most common to snort drugs when they come in powdered form. It is not as common to snort crystal or GHB as GHB rarely comes in powdered form in Australia. Snorting crystals can seriously damage your nose as crystals are sharp and abrasive.

Repeatedly snorting can cause damage to the delicate nasal tissue inside your nose. It can even eat a hole in your septum after a while. Another common way of using meth is to burn it in a glass pipe but then inhale it from the nose, this can also damage your nose.

If snorting:

  • Protect your nostrils: Alternate nostrils and ensure drugs are chopped into a fine powder. Rinse your nose by snorting water before and after snorting, this will move any excesses substances along the nasal passage that are harmful to the sensitive nasal mucous membrane
  • Use straws: Straws are cleaner than a rolled notes/money
  • Don’t share: Sharing anything that you use powders with can lead to infection. Snorting straws can pick up small particles that may carry infectious diseases.

We co-designed information on this page with community member and also sourced information from the Turning Tina resource developed by The Institute of Many, we also used information from the Terrence Higgins TrustNUAA and Harm Reduction Victoria



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