Substance Use

Butt Chugging: How Alcohol Enemas Work

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Butt chugging, a term you might find rather peculiar, refers to the act of consuming alcohol through your rectum. This practice, also known as an alcohol enema, is not as uncommon as you might think. It’s a dangerous trend that has been gaining notoriety, particularly among younger demographics. As strange and uncomfortable as it may sound, people are drawn to this method due to the promise of immediate and intense effects.

You’ve maybe heard the term “butt chugging” in hushed whispers at parties or read about it on internet forums. It’s often talked about with a mixture of disbelief and curiosity.

If it sounds bizarre and dangerous, that’s because it is. Below, we’ll look at what butt chugging is, why people do it, and the health effects of butt chugging.

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What is Butt Chugging?

Butt chugging is an alcohol enema. It involves inserting a tube into the rectum, which is then used to administer alcohol directly into the bloodstream. The method bypasses the digestive system, meaning the alcohol doesn’t get broken down by your liver initially. So the effects are felt much faster and can be significantly stronger.

Butt chugging is risky to your health. Alcohol is a potent substance that can cause significant damage, even when consumed traditionally. When taken rectally, the risks are even higher.

How Do Alcohol Enemas Work?

The rectum and colon are lined with an extensive network of blood vessels that can absorb substances, like alcohol, directly into the bloodstream. When alcohol is consumed orally, it has to pass through the digestive system. There, it goes through the liver, which reduces its potency.

But when alcohol is consumed rectally, it skips the liver and goes straight into the bloodstream. This results in a quicker and more intense high.

The alcohol concentration in the blood increases rapidly, causing immediate intoxication. This increases the risk of alcohol poisoning, which can be life-threatening.

Why Do People Use Alcohol Enemas?

The main reason people resort to butt chugging is the promise of a quick and intense high. By skipping the liver, the effects of alcohol are felt almost instantly.

Since the alcohol is not being consumed orally, there’s also no residual odor. This could potentially make it easier for someone to conceal their drinking.

Finally, there’s the element of novelty and thrill-seeking. For some, the lure of doing something considered ‘edgy’ or ‘taboo’ can be enticing, even if it is very dangerous.

What Do Alcohol Enemas Feel Like?

Alcohol enemas are not always pleasant. The intense high can be accompanied by a feeling of discomfort, given that the rectum is not designed to absorb alcohol. Some people have reported feeling a burning sensation. Others have experienced severe cramping.

The rapid increase in blood alcohol concentration can lead to intense disorientation and confusion. Unlike oral consumption, where the effects of alcohol gradually increase, butt chugging can lead to immediate and overwhelming intoxication.

This can result in a loss of control, making it difficult to gauge one’s level of drunkenness accurately.

Side Effects of Butt Chugging

The side effects of butt chugging are significant and can be life-threatening.

Alcohol Poisoning

The most immediate and perhaps most dangerous risk of butt chugging is alcohol poisoning. It can occur quickly due to the rapid absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. 

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Hypothermia
  • Unconsciousness

If you or someone else exhibits these symptoms after using an alcohol enema, it’s crucial to seek medical help immediately. 

Damage to Rectum and Colon

One major risk is damage to the rectum and colon. The insertion of a tube can cause tearing or other physical harm. Alcohol is a harsh substance that can irritate and damage the sensitive lining of the rectum and colon, leading to inflammation, infection, and even long-term harm.

The rapid absorption of alcohol can also contribute to severe damage to your rectal and colon tissues, leading to:

  • Inflammation
  • Ulcers
  • Rectal bleeding


Butt chugging increases the risk of infections, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and hepatitis. If you’re sharing equipment with others to administer the alcohol enema, it can easily be contaminated with bacteria and viruses. 

When alcohol is introduced into the rectum, it can cause irritation, inflammation, and tears in the mucosal lining. This makes you even more susceptible to infection.


Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more and can cause dehydration. When consumed orally, you can slightly counteract this by drinking water.

But when alcohol is consumed rectally, you’re losing fluids without replacing them, increasing the risk of dehydration.

What are the Myths About Alcohol Enemas?

There are numerous myths and misconceptions about alcohol enemas.

Myth #1: It gets you drunk faster

One of the most common myths is that butt chugging gets you drunk faster. While it’s true that alcohol absorbed through the rectum enters the bloodstream faster, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll feel the effects of the alcohol quicker.

In fact, the rapid increase in blood alcohol levels can lead to alcohol poisoning before you even start to feel drunk.

Myth #2: You won’t get a hangover

Another common myth is that butt chugging doesn’t result in a hangover. This is a dangerous misconception.

The severity of a hangover depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and how quickly your body breaks it down. When alcohol is introduced directly into the bloodstream, it’s broken down at a much slower rate, potentially resulting in a longer and more severe hangover.

Myth #3: Butt chugging is safe

Lastly, there’s a myth that butt chugging is a safe way to consume alcohol if you have a history of stomach problems. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While it’s true that alcohol can irritate the stomach lining if consumed orally, introducing alcohol into the rectum can lead to tissue damage and infections, which can exacerbate existing gastrointestinal issues.

Getting Help for Butt Chugging

If you or someone you know is engaging in butt chugging, seek help immediately. This behavior is often indicative of a deeper issue with alcohol abuse or addiction. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available.

Detoxification can be the first step in treating alcohol addiction. This involves ridding the body of alcohol and managing withdrawal symptoms. This should be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening.

Following detox, many people benefit from residential or outpatient treatment programs. These programs offer a combination of individual and group therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and family therapy.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can also be helpful. Certain medications can help reduce cravings for alcohol, making it easier to maintain sobriety. Some people may benefit from MAT in conjunction with talk therapy.

If you or a loved one is concerned about alcohol abuse, call us at Zinnia Health and ask about our treatment plans. One day at a time, you can do this. We’re here to help: (855) 430-9439.


Butt chugging, or alcohol enemas, might seem like an exciting or edgy way to consume alcohol. But it’s actually a dangerous practice that can lead to alcohol poisoning, tissue damage, infections, and long-term health problems.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying alcohol in a responsible, moderate way. There are plenty of safer, healthier methods of consumption that don’t put your health and life at risk. Always drink responsibly, and never hesitate to seek help if you or someone else is struggling with alcohol abuse.

Author: Nam Tran, PharmD. Nam is a detailed and reliable pharmacist with combined 14+ years of experience in medical writing, home infusion, specialty pharmacy, and hospice.


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