How Drugs Are Taken

  • Drugs can be swallowed, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin.
  • When a drug is swallowed it usually takes a while to work. Swallowing some drugs may cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Drugs taken through the nose enter the bloodstream very quickly and produce their effect very quickly also.
  • Drugs can also be given directly into the bloodstream by injection. This gives the quickest results but if the drug is contaminated, the contamination will also spread rapidly and can’t be removed.
  • Injections can be given under the skin. Only small doses can be given but they won’t work if they cause irritation or stinging.
  • Some drugs may be absorbed through the skin, these take a lot longer to work.

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Department for Community Devlp, Australia

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