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Snorting Adderall: Effects and Why People Do It

snorting adderall dangers

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Snorting Adderall is increasing in popularity especially among the youth. However, this is not the best way to take Adderall because snorting usually leads to overdose due to the increased intensity of its effects and this, in turn, causes dangerous side effects.

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Table of Contents

What is Adderall Snorting?

Snorting is a way of administering drugs. The powdered form of the medicine is inhaled through the nasal system. From here, the stimulant diffuses through the nasal membrane to the bloodstream through the surrounding blood vessels.

Snorting Adderall or any other way of substance abuse is illegal and poses severe health hazards.

The drug is then carried to the heart from whether it is pumped to the rest of the body including the brain. Most users prefer snorting because it is one of the ways of Adderall potentiating. It shortens the path the stimulant travels to get to the bloodstream and ultimately the brain, thus causing stronger and sudden effects. Because of this, snorting Adderall poses a high potential for abuse.

Why Do People Snort Adderall?

Generally, Adderall bypasses the digestive tract which is the conventional route drugs take when administered through swallowing. After the digestive system, the drug ends up in the liver where it is subjected to the first pass metabolism (this is the initial processing state). As one can imagine, this path is lengthy hence the drug takes time to produce the desired effects. It is also relatively easy to buy this drug on the streets or order Adderall online.
Snorting Adderall XR or IR, on the other hand, gives an individual a shortcut option. The drug is administered through the nose and infuses into the bloodstream without any processing whatsoever. The blood vessels facilitate the transport of the stimulant-infused blood to the heart and eventual to the brain.
young man cutting Adderall pills with razor and making tracks for snortingFor this reason, people who snort Adderall get high quicker than those who take it orally. It is this desire for immediate and strong effects that is driving force pushing people to snort Adderall IR and XR. It is also important to point out that people who snort Adderall XR or the other variety of this stimulant end up getting hooked up to the practice. Smoking Adderall is not a good option either because the oral intake of pills is the only approved form of intake for this stimulant.

What Are the Dangers of Adderall Snorting?

The practice of snorting Adderall is highly discouraged. Sniffing this stimulant leads to abuse and much like any other drug, has its own set of side effects. Adderall overdose amount is anything above 60 mg per day because most prescriptions are between 5 and 60 mg. Some of the recorded ones include paranoia, nausea, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, loss of appetite, convulsions and irregular heartbeat. When comparing Dexedrine and Adderall, they both have the same side effects.
That aside, it is important to know what happens if one snorts Adderall. There are more complications that may result. What puffing does is that it introduces into the bloodstream a large dose of the stimulant. It is not about how much Adderall to snort or when to do it; this practice can be devastating to health and hence not recommended.
Some of the dangers of inhaling this stimulant are:

  • Respiratory issues such as a chronic runny nose, inflammation, and respiratory infections
  • Nasal damage which may necessitate surgery to correct and rebuild the passages.
  • Nosebleeds
  • Cardiac complications such as heart attack, heart palpitations, and arrhythmia.
  • Malnutrition and weight loss
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sleeping problems
  • Drug dependence which may lead to accidents or even loss of life due to overdose
  • Violent behavior

Therefore, apart from the positive and euphoric feelings, snorting Adderall IR or XR has a collection of destructive side effects. To add to the above, drug users who resort to breathing in substances end up with a distorted self-image. This makes them take even more of the drug as an escape mechanism from the shame and fear.
Can one snort Adderall XR? If patient has a history of bipolar disorder, mental illness or depression, puffing this stimulant or the Adderall IR variety can be extremely dangerous.

What Are the Signs That Someone is Snorting Adderall?

Huffing is one of the most common causes of the drug overdose. Dangerous as this may be, people who are into snorting have become dodgy and very creative at hiding their practice. Therefore, the problem often goes on for a long period without being noticed.
That notwithstanding, there are tell-tale signs that can help one know someone is huffing this stimulant. Some of them are:

  • Elevated body temperature beyond the norm
  • Periodic unconsciousness
  • Accelerated heartbeatyoung man breathing hard holding his chest due to elevated heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Delirium
  • Irregular breathing
  • Painful palpitations
  • Convulsions
  • Emotional and physical crash episodes especially when the stimulant wears off
  • Mental instability
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Constantly running nose
  • Regular nosebleeds
  • Irritation signs around the nose
  • Snorting paraphernalia

The other sings of Adderall snorting include the powder remnants on the person’s hair, clothes, hands or furniture. The special attention shall be paid to horizontal hard surfaces, including mirrors left laying on the table or cupboard.
When someone spots a combination of any of these signs, they shall not hesitate to raise the alarm so that the patient can be assisted early enough. In case of sudden, severe symptoms, there are basic first aid procedures to undertake to bring the problem under temporal control. For instance, one may:

  • Bring the temperature down by dragging the patient to a bathtub with ice cool water.
  • Give them plenty of fluids to arrest any dehydration tendencies and complications.
  • Ask them the dosage they have just taken. This is particularly important if the patient is nearing unconsciousness. Ensure to pass this information to the medical personnel.

If one observes Adderall withdrawal symptoms such as panic attacks, irritability, depression, and fatigue, the doctor must be informed immediately.

Getting Help With Addiction to Adderall Snorting

Now being informed about what happens when one snorts Adderall if the individual shows signs of overdose or addiction from snorting the drug it is high time one sought treatments for drug abusers. Cases vary from one person to another, but outpatient addiction treatment program for drug overdose or addiction is through therapy, medical detox, or post-rehab care.
There are sufficient facilities and support services to help out in addressing the effects of snorting Adderall.

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  1. Joshua A. Lile, Shanna Babalonis, Cleeve Emurian, Catherine A. Martin, Daniel P. Wermeling, Thomas H. Kelly. Comparison of the behavioral and cardiovascular effects of intranasal and oral d-amphetamine in healthy human subjects. J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Jun; 51(6): 888–898.
  2. Steve Sussman, Mary Ann Pentz, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Toby Miller. Misuse of “study drugs:” prevalence, consequences, and implications for policy. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2006.
Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


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