Ingestion is the consumption of a drug by eating or drinking and is probably the simplest and oldest method of taking a substance. The drug is absorbed through the lining of the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream. Its next port of call is the liver where some of the drug will be eliminated from the blood before it is passed on to the heart.
The heart, which is a muscular pump, pushes the blood into and around the lungs where it is oxygenated before it is returned to the other side of the heart. The newly oxygenated blood is finally pumped up to the brain and central nervous system where the drugs begin to have an effect.
The risks of ingesting drugs
The long-term risks of using drugs in this way can include damage to the stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys. The liver is particularly at risk and can suffer progressive and irreversible damage from excessive use of drugs and alcohol.