Updated on February 6, 2024
4 min read

The Dangers of Snorting Meth

Key Takeaways

Why Do People Snort Meth? 

People choose to snort meth because of the decreased risk of addiction compared to other methods. Other reasons include the following:

  • Avoiding HIV or hepatitis by injecting drugs
  • A longer-lasting high (6 to 12 hours)

Despite the slight decrease in addiction risk, snorting meth is not safer than other methods. The drug is still potent, giving it a high potential for abuse and addiction.

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What Happens in the Body When You Snort Meth?

Snorting meth produces feelings of euphoria. It is not the intense rush people feel when smoking or injecting drugs. The high occurs within three to five minutes.2 

Does Snorting Meth Increase Addiction Risk? 

Due to meth’s highly addictive nature, there’s a good chance users will develop an addiction, regardless of how they ingest it. Because of this, meth is a Schedule II stimulant under the Controlled Substances Act.

The high you get from snorting is more gradual. It gives a false impression that you can manage your drug use more efficiently. People who snort the drug often progress to using needles and smoking it. 

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Dangers of Snorting Meth

Snorting meth produces a less intense high. Over time, people increase their dosage amount, which puts them at a greater risk of overdosing. 

Snorting also poses a risk to the nasal passages that isn’t a problem when injecting or smoking the drug. Other dangers of snorting meth include:2

  • Skin sores and infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Hallucinations
  • Weight loss
  • Increased sex drive and risk of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Insomnia
  • Overdose

What are the Symptoms of a Meth overdose?

Signs of meth overdose include:

  • High body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular or stopped heartbeat
  • Coma

What to Do if Someone Overdoses on Meth 

Call 911 immediately if you believe someone has overdosed on meth. While waiting for emergency medical services, hold the person’s head as they lie on the floor. Do not hold their arms or legs. Doing this will prevent injury.

You can gently tilt the person’s head back and to the side. This position will keep their airway open and prevent choking if they vomit.

Signs of Snorting Meth

Although you might not immediately recognize the signs of meth use, you’ll know something is unusual after someone uses the drugs.

Signs of snorting meth include:

  • Facial tics
  • Runny nose
  • Compulsive motor activity (pacing, pulling hair, etc.)
  • Delusional thinking
  • Erratic sleeping patterns
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in activities and relationships
  • Stealing or selling items to buy more meth

Physical Changes Caused By Meth

Snorting meth damages the nasal passages. People who snort have nasal infections, nosebleeds, and sores near their noses.

Methamphetamine use also drastically affects someone’s appearance. People using meth tend to have a sunken, hollow face and “meth mouth.” Meth mouth occurs due to the extreme dental decay linked to drug use.6

Meth users also feel like bugs are crawling on or under their skin. This causes them to scratch and pick at their skin and develop sores and scabs (meth mites).

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Common Side Effects of Snorting Meth

Snorting meth produces both short- and long-term side effects:2

Short-Term Effects

  • Increased attention
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Increased activity and alertness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoric feeling
  • Increased respiration
  • Increased and/or irregular heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Elevated blood pressure

Long-Term Effects

  • Addiction
  • Psychosis symptoms (paranoia, hallucinations, and repeated actions)
  • Changes in brain structure and function
  • Problems with thinking
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased distractibility
  • Memory loss
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Mood disturbances
  • Severe dental issues (‘meth mouth’)
  • Weight loss

Treatment Options for Meth Addiction 

If you or a loved one is addicted to meth, seeking professional addiction treatment is the best way to break the addiction. Health experts recommend up to 90 days in an addiction treatment program. 

Treatment includes:

Meth addiction treatment is available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. It is most effective when provided by professionals. Maintaining your health can also help your recovery.

What To Expect During the Comedown Phase

Once the effects of the drug wear off, you may experience a comedown phase. This comedown phase includes many intense symptoms, including depression and muscle pain.

These symptoms usually last a few days, and there is a high risk of relapse during this time. Anything you can do to manage these symptoms increases the odds of a successful recovery.

What is Methamphetamine (Meth)?

Meth, or methamphetamine, is a highly addictive drug. It can treat weight loss and ADHD. However, it is only available through a one-time low-dose doctor’s prescription.

Like its parent drug, amphetamine, meth causes the following effects:2

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Restlessness 
  • Euphoria

However, methamphetamines can have a more substantial effect on the brain. They cause more significant harm to the central nervous system (CNS).2

Summary

Meth or methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. Snorting meth comes with a few benefits:

  • It can be less addictive compared to other methods
  • Has a lower risk for HIV or hepatitis
  • It has a longer-lasting high

However, meth is still a dangerous substance regardless of how it's used. Snorting meth has various short and long-term effects.

It can cause physical, psychological, and mental changes. Because of its strong potency, meth has a high potential for abuse, addiction, and overdose.

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Updated on February 6, 2024

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