April 1, 2020  Last Update: November 12, 2019, 4:01 pm

SWIM: Someone Who Isn’t Me uses Drugs

SWIM - Someone Who Isn't Me

The Huh: I regularly visit underground drug user forums and report on activities in the Drug Forum Report section of JohnsAddiction.com.  Sometimes the forums themselves are as interesting as the topics they address.

The Urban Dictionary defines SWIM as :

SWIM: someone - who - isn't - me, commonly used to avoid self incrimination in contexts such as boards discussing drug use. also used in places where generally criminal acts are taking place.

In the online underground, drug user forum participants have established creative ways of avoiding liability for acts they describe or admit having done. They refer to themselves in the third person, with some developing colorful characters to  represent themselves or someone they know, in order to avoid self-incriminating themselves.

Don't Put Yourself At Risk: Yup, make friends with SWIM (Someone Who Isn't Me). It is much better to talk about a friend who got into trouble or who is engaging in illegal activities than yourself.

On some web sites this is policy.  One forum rule explicitly states

“Do not implicate or incriminate any member including yourself in drug production/creation/extraction. Discussion of drug production/creation/extraction may only be theoretical. You may not post that you or any other member is going to be, or has been involved/implicated in any drug production or related illegal activity. It is allowed to describe hypothetical situations, your dreams or the actions of a third-party. Creative writing is welcome.”

Another forum puts it forth more simply:

“Don’t Put Yourself At Risk: Yup, make friends with SWIM (Someone Who Isn’t Me). It is much better to talk about a friend who got into trouble or who is engaging in illegal activities than yourself.”

Many forum posters simply use the suggested “SWIM” when talking about drug buys, drug use, and related illegal activities. Others get more creative.

One  person started a discussion by asking if fearing addiction was actually a sign of addiction. The “OP” (original poster, meaning the one who started the discussion) reported having flushed unused opiates down the toilet out of fear of becoming addicted.

A response came in from a creative reader:

My pug Rollie has done that many a time. Still didn’t stop him from tearing his place apart looking anywhere he may have stashed or dropped a pill, or the old human hoover for anything that may have fallen on the carpet.”

Another poster started a discussion about prescription medication, using an unusual third-person description. If they had referred to themselves, the following post could be self-incriminating if these drugs were not prescribed:

“My big fat pink elephant is a normal user of hydro/oxycodone…Mr. Pink elephant is up to about 30mg per dose…Today, Mr. Pink elephant came across some 8 mg dilaudid and is wondering how he should go about using these? Mr.Pinky wants to know how these compare to his usual regiment and how much Mr. Pinky should take? He thanks you in advance for your answers!”

Forum users often walk a fine line, teetering on the edge of what is considered lawful. Referring to themselves as inanimate objects is supposedly not self-incriminating, but readers generally understand the tactic.

One forum user responded to a discussion about injecting heroin and smoking cigarettes, saying

Nez’s happy mask smoked AFTER an IV rush and has always experienced nothing but increase in pleasure, never tried WHILE shooting, could be worth a shot.”

A side effect of these creative self-references is that they seem to encourage a tighter forum community. The references get pretty creative and draw positive comments about community participation, not just the typical need for information or concerns about addictions.

A few thoughts come to mind…

  • Internet use leads to isolation.
  • Online communities are on the Internet.
  • Online “community” is better than no community/ isolation.
  • Colorful personas have more identity than nameless, faceless user accounts.
  • Colorful personas encourage repeat visits to same forums, e.g. increase “community”
  • Open sharing of  how to get around drug laws, how to do drugs, how to beat the system, must be bad.




  1. Bro if want to SWIM try Purple Label this shit is a purple cyrup but wow

  2. Johnny Wassa says:

    SWIM shoots up Subutex? Now his arm is swollen, red, very tender and painful to touch he said it happened immediately and gradually got worse the 3rd time shooting himself in the same area. He said his body is sore, and doesn’t feel well at all and thirsty. He is scared, googled a gf few things and started taking anti biotic amoxicillin. What could be wrong with him? Should he go to the ER? It’s been 24 or so hours.

  3. Tyson prijt says:

    Numb face after having a shot in the neck and missing a little bit of ice can you tell me if it is going to be a problem or not I need to know asap

  4. Silly chick says:

    Question I have a shot that is mostly meth with a small amount of. Blood in it it’s been there for over week not sure how long but I dont see any coagulation cause it’s barely got blood in it can I squirt it in my mouth still would rather shoot but I’m nervous what should I do

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