Many of our favorite recreational drugs come in the form of happy little baggies of powder. Now, I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to swallow most of these drugs, as they lose a great deal of potency when they have to go through your digestive tract. I also don't really want to inject them -- I fear hypodermic needles and the strength of addiction they bring. All that's left (well, besides the rather icky suppository route) is the subject of this writeup, sending those drugs right up your nose! A little bit of minimal equipment and preparation, and you will arrive quickly and gently in the land of the psychochemically enhanced.

Here's what you'll need:

  1. A cutting surface: This is what you will break the powder up on, and what will hold the lines before you snort them. They must thus be very hard (ie, not plastic), and made out of something that will contrast with the powder. Hand mirrors are a perennial favorite, but I find them to be too small and difficult not to spill off of. Glass or ceramic plates are good, but ceramic may chip and glass is easily broken. For a long while I used a clear glass door to an entertainment center, which was big and square and super easy to handle, but no fun to transport.

  2. A cutting implement: These are used to break up big lumps of material, including chopping up pressed pills if necessary. Lines are usually shaped with whatever you cut with too, but if you're really itching to use your grandfather's mortar and pestle, be my guest. Safety razor blades are wonderfully sharp, aesthetically pleasing to view and use, and are usually the best choice. In a pinch a credit card can work, using the flat side to smash the lumps and the edge to shape out the line. For goodness' sake don't use your driver's license -- handing a cop identification that's covered with white powder is generally considered a Bad Idea.

  3. A straw: This goes up one nostril, and chases the line as you inhale. A great choice for this would be (duh) a straw, cut with scissors to be three or four inches long. A rolled up dollar bill is a solid choice too, and you score extra pimp points if you use a rolled up hundred. I've seen people use a glass straw like the ones used to make crack pipes, but that's probably overkill, and runs the risk of broken glass in your nose, too.

Now that you have your gear, pour some of the substance in question on to your cutting surface, and chop it until it's as fine as you can possibly make it. Talcum powder consistency is what you're looking for, but some materials refuse to be chopped that finely, so a little thicker is okay. When it's all chopped up, shape it into lines that are roughly an eighth inch wide, and long enough to get off. Here's a rough guide, but strength varies by location and dealer, so don't be afraid to undershoot these lengths and work your way up to the "right" dosage.

Cocaine: Four inches, or longer if you're used to it. Snort off of a blonde hooker's ass for maximal white trash appeal.
Ecstasy: Five inches / one crushed pill, but since it's rather hard to OD on this you can go a bit more if desired.
Ephedrine: DO NOT SNORT EPHEDRINE. It is extremely painful, like snorting crushed glass or something. Be smart.
Ketamine: An inch to feel light and weird, three inches for disorientation, five inches for a very intense trip, and six inches to experience ego death.
Methamphetamine: Think in terms of bumps rather than lines, like the amount that will fit on the end of a car key. Meth is strong shit, and will kill you in a heartbeat if you do too much at once.
Opiates: Varies with type of opiate. Start with a usual oral dose, and go up from there if needed. I've heard that two or three inches of heroin is about right, but hurts like hell; regardless, you'd be best off not to even consider putting heroin in your system.

To snort, hold one nostril closed with your finger, and keep your mouth closed, or at least clench your teeth to keep from blowing on the line. Put the straw into your open nostril, and suck in through it while chasing the line with the straw. Be careful not to accidentally blow out of the straw -- this sounds like a stupid mistake, but is surprisingly easy to make. Once you are done with the line, pull back on your forehead right above the eye on the side of the face that you snorted on, and inhale sharply a few times. This disperses the chemical in your sinus cavity, for quicker absorption. Chase with a few drops of water pulled up the same nostril if it's handy, for better absorption. Finally, make sure your nose is clear of powder; wouldn't want all the random people in the other room to know what you've been doing...

Now just sit back, relax, and let the drug take hold. Depending on what it was either talk to people, or clean the house, or sit still and enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, about twenty minutes after you blow your line, backdrip will start flowing from your nasal cavity down your throat. This is a mixture of snot and drug, and regardless of which chemical you took it will taste revolting. Go get something strongly flavored to drink, or just try your best to ignore the taste.

user abject_hero sez (Oct 24, 2007): The user may encounter pills with coatings that make crushing more difficult and present nasty little flakes of said coating to pick out of the desired powdery product. One tried-and-true way to avoid the annoyance of these coatings, for instance with OxyContin and Ambien, is the lightly suck on the pill until a change in texture is felt. The change is generally from slippery-smooth to slightly grainy. STOP SUCKING NOW or the pill will get too soggy to crush nicely. Dry off the pill with a tissue or your shirt, or whatever is most convenient. Run the flame of a lighter over it a couple of times to make it fully dry.