Updated on February 6, 2024
5 min read

Snorting Adderall: Dangers, Risks, & Treatment

Can You Snort Adderall?

Many people snort Adderall to achieve a more ‘rapid high.’ When snorted, users experience the impacts of its effects almost immediately.

Adderall tablets or capsules are often crushed and then snorted. Snorting Adderall may lead the effects to hit the user all at once rather than last throughout the day. 

Snorting Adderall isn’t recommended as it can cause several adverse effects.

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What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication. It contains two drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. 

Adderall is most commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The medication helps increase daytime wakefulness in people with ADHD and related conditions.

Adderall

Adderall is addictive and has similar effects as meth. Not everyone who takes Adderall will develop an addiction, but people using it regularly at prescribed doses are at high risk of addiction.

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Dangers of Snorting Adderall

When someone snorts Adderall, the brain may suddenly become overwhelmed with the drug's amount. The brain might not be able to break down the drug safely.

Snorting Adderall can also cause various health risks. Some of the common dangers of snorting Adderall include:

Damage to the Nasal Passages and Sinuses

Snorting Adderall can seriously damage the nasal passages and sinuses. This can lead to chronic inflammation, infection, and even nosebleeds.

Increased Risk of Addiction

Snorting Adderall may increase the risk of developing an addiction. This is because it sends the drug into the brain faster. When Adderall is snorted, the chemical changes develop more quickly than if you swallowed the drug.

Increased Risk of Overdose

Snorting Adderall can also increase the risk of overdose. Since it’s absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream when snorted, users may take too much at once.

Mental Health Problems

Snorting Adderall can also increase the risk of developing a mental health disorder. It can cause brain chemistry changes and increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Cardiovascular Problems

Snorting Adderall can also cause cardiovascular problems. It can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.

Other side effects of snorting Adderall include:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Lung damage
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss 
  • Nervousness 
  • Irritability 
  • Restlessness 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Headache
  • Tremors 
  • Chest pain 
  • Fever 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Changes in sex drive or sexual dysfunction 
  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fast breathing 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Itching or rash 
  • Numbness
  • Increased aggression and hostility 
  • Hallucinations or delirium 
  • Panic attacks or paranoia 

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Symptoms of Adderall Overdose

One of the primary high-potential dangers of snorting or using Adderall is an overdose. It's important to know the signs and symptoms of an Adderall overdose so you can seek professional help immediately.

Signs and symptoms of an Adderall overdose include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Fast heart rate 
  • Panic
  • Overactive reflexes 
  • Muscle pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping 
  • Fast breathing
  • Increased body temperature
  • Tremors, seizures, or convulsions
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of consciousness

Taking high doses of Adderall can also affect the heart rhythm. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat and cause a heart attack.

What to Do If You Suspect an Adderall Overdose

Anyone who suspects that they or another person are experiencing an Adderall overdose should call 911 or seek emergency medical help immediately.  

Don’t wait for them to ‘sleep it off’ or make them vomit up the rest of the medicine without speaking to medical staff first.

While waiting for emergency staff, it’s useful to gather the following information:

  • The person’s age
  • Their health status and medication history
  • Any history of drug use
  • How much Adderall they took
  • Whether they are allergic to other medicines
  • Whether they took any other drugs or drank alcohol

You must be honest with the doctors and first responders. Withholding crucial information about a person’s state can put their lives in danger. This includes whether they’ve consumed any illegal substances.

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Signs of Adderall Use & Misuse

To avoid the dangers associated with Adderall overdose, it's important to be aware of the signs of Adderall use and misuse. Some common signs include:

Changes in Behavior

People misusing Adderall may display changes in their behavior, such as increased aggression or irritability. They may also finish prescriptions for Adderall quicker than necessary.

Finding Adderall prescription bottles in belongings or trash, even if there is no medical requirement for the drug, also indicate misuse.

Finding Drug Paraphernalia

People misusing Adderall may also have drug paraphernalia, such as:

  • Cutting or drug-crushing tools
  • Razor blades
  • Rolled-up dollar bills
  • Straws

Changes in Physical Appearance

People misusing Adderall may also see changes in their physical appearances, such as weight loss and dilated pupils. They may also appear to be constantly tired.

Social Isolation

People misusing Adderall may also become socially isolated. They may withdraw from friends and family and spend more time alone. They may also lack interest or involvement in anything not involving Adderall.

Changes in Sleeping Habits

People misusing Adderall may also display changes in their sleeping habits. They may shift from being awake for long periods to then ‘crashing’ for hours or more.

Treatment Options for Adderall Addiction

There are no approved medications to treat an Adderall addiction. Instead, addiction treatment involves supervision as you experience the detox process.

Withdrawal from stimulant drugs like Adderall can be highly uncomfortable and challenging. Your doctor will refer you to either of the following:

Typically, the steps for treating an Adderall addiction include:

  1. Enrolling in a supervised detox or rehab program
  2. Receiving a medical evaluation and assessment
  3. Tapering Adderall under medical supervision
  4. Managing withdrawal symptoms
  5. Undergoing psychotherapy or behavioral therapy
  6. Developing a plan for aftercare
  7. Attending ongoing individual and group psychotherapy performed by licensed therapists

If you or a loved one suffer from Adderall substance use issues, seek professional help as soon as possible.

Summary

Many people snort Adderall to achieve a more ‘rapid high.’ While this method may have an immediate effect, it can also cause several adverse effects. 

It's important to recognize the signs of Adderall use and misuse to avoid overdose-related dangers. Seek professional help immediately if you or someone you know is misusing Adderall.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. “Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2014.
  2. "Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019.
  3. “Adderall.” Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2007.
  4. Lakhan, SE, and Kirchgessner, A. “Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects.” Brain and behavior, 2012.
  5. Mariani, JJ, and Levin, FR. “Treatment strategies for co-occurring ADHD and substance use disorders.” The American journal on addictions, 2007.
  6. Berman, et al. “Potential adverse effects of amphetamine treatment on brain and behavior: a review.” Molecular psychiatry, 2009.

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