August 18, 2023

The Dangers of Snorting Adderall

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Adderall is a CNS stimulant prescribed to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but it is often misused by snorting as a study aid, appetite suppressant, or recreational drug for euphoria. 

A combination medication that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, Adderall comes in immediate release and extended release forms. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) warns of severe side effects and overdose risk from misuse. Adderall is a Schedule II substance controlled by the DEA due to its potential for addictive potential and complications triggered by abuse.

This guide highlights issues that include:

  • Can you snort Adderall?
  • What happens if you snort Adderall?
  • What does snorting Adderall do to the brain and body?
  • What are the most common Adderall negative side effects?
  • What are the long term side effects of Adderall?
  • Are Adderall side effects dangerous?
  • How can you navigate Adderall withdrawal side effects?

Side Effects of Snorting Adderall

Snorting Adderall, a practice that involves crushing the medication into a powder and inhaling it through the nasal passages, can trigger myriad adverse outcomes. This method of consumption accelerates the drug’s entry into the bloodstream, causing a more rapid and intense onset of effects than oral ingestion. Some of the effects associated with snorting Adderall include:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Snorting Adderall can lead to a sudden increase in heart rate (tachycardia) and blood pressure. This cardiovascular stimulation can put excessive strain on the heart and circulatory system.
  • Agitation and restlessness: Snorting Adderall side effects may include heightened feelings of restlessness, agitation, and irritability. These effects can contribute to an overall sense of discomfort.
  • Anxiety and panic attacks: Snorting Adderall can trigger anxiety and panic attacks, characterized by feelings of intense fear, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and a sense of impending doom.
  • Insomnia: The stimulant effects of Adderall, amplified by snorting, can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Nasal and sinus irritation: The act of snorting a powdered substance can irritate and damage the delicate tissues of the nasal passages and sinus cavities. This can result in nasal congestion, runny nose, and even nosebleeds.
  • Respiratory issues: Snorting Adderall can increase the risk of respiratory problems, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In some cases, it may lead to more severe respiratory infections.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss: Adderall is known for its appetite-suppressing effects. Snorting the medication can intensify this side effect, potentially leading to unhealthy weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Cognitive impairment: While Adderall is used to improve focus and concentration when taken as prescribed, snorting the drug can lead to cognitive impairment, including difficulty in concentrating, confusion, and memory problems.
  • Cardiovascular complications: The combination of increased heart rate and blood pressure can raise the risk of cardiovascular complications, including arrhythmias, chest pain, and in severe cases, heart attack.
  • Addiction and dependence: Snorting Adderall carries a higher risk of addiction and dependence due to the rapid onset of intense euphoria. Individuals may develop a compulsive pattern of misuse, seeking the pleasurable effects despite the negative consequences.

Snorting Adderall not only intensifies its potential side effects but also increases the risk of dangerous health complications. The drug’s intended therapeutic effects can quickly turn into harmful consequences when misused in this manner. If you or someone you know is struggling with Adderall misuse or addiction, seek professional help.

image of man representing the adderall negative side effects

Adderall Overdose Risk

Misusing Adderall, especially through methods like snorting, significantly elevates the risk of overdose. An Adderall overdose occurs when the body is overwhelmed by an excessive amount of the drug, provoking dangerous physiological and psychological reactions.

Snorting Adderall delivers a concentrated dose directly into the bloodstream, causing a rapid and intense onset of its stimulant effects. This includes increased heart rate, blood pressure, and alertness. The stimulant properties of Adderall can lead to overstimulation of the central nervous system. This excessive stimulation can manifest as:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

Snorting Adderall can significantly stress the cardiovascular system. This can result in irregular heartbeats, palpitations, and in extreme cases, heart attack or stroke. An Adderall overdose can also affect respiratory function. Breathing may become rapid, shallow, or labored, potentially leading to respiratory failure.

Adderall can raise body temperature, and an overdose can intensify this effect, leading to hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), which may result in organ damage or failure.

Adderall overdose can lead to severe psychological distress, including extreme agitation, paranoia, panic attacks, and even delirium.

Excessive doses of Adderall can trigger seizures, which are sudden, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can be life-threatening and may cause injuries. In the most severe cases, an Adderall overdose can result in a coma or death. The combination of cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological effects can lead to organ failure and loss of consciousness.

Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect an Adderall overdose. These signs may include:

  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Extreme restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

To prevent Adderall overdose, use the medication only as prescribed by a medical professional. Avoid snorting or misusing the drug for recreational purposes. If you are concerned about your Adderall use or that of someone else, reach out to a healthcare provider or addiction specialist. They can provide guidance, support, and potentially recommend safer alternatives or treatment options to address misuse and prevent overdose.

FAQs

What are the long-term side effects of Adderall?

Long-term use of Adderall can lead to potential side effects such as increased blood pressure, heart problems, anxiety, insomnia, and dependence.

Why do people snort Adderall?

People may snort Adderall to achieve a quicker and more intense high, as it delivers the drug rapidly to the bloodstream.

What happens when you snort Adderall?

Snorting Adderall bypasses the intended extended-release mechanism, delivering a large dose of the drug at once. This can lead to heightened effects, but also increases risks of overdose, heart problems, and addiction.

Is snorting Adderall dangerous?

Yes, snorting Adderall is dangerous. It can lead to severe health risks, including overdose, heart complications, lung damage, and addiction. It also increases the likelihood of adverse side effects and negative health outcomes.

Treatment for Adderall Addiction & Abuse

For those who have developed a physical dependence on Adderall, medical detox can be the first step towards recovery. Under the supervision of healthcare professionals, the body is gradually weaned off the drug while managing withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient rehab programs provide a structured and supportive environment for individuals to focus on their recovery. These programs offer a combination of medical care, therapy, counseling, and holistic treatments to address the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction. Outpatient programs, by contrast, offer flexibility, allowing individuals to receive treatment while still maintaining their daily responsibilities. This option is suitable for those with a supportive home environment and a less severe addiction.

Evidence-based therapies used to address the underlying factors contributing to Adderall addiction include:

  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
  • DBT (dialectical behavior therapy)
  • CM (contingency management) 

These therapies help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and strategies to manage triggers.

Group therapy provides a supportive community where individuals can share their experiences, challenges, and successes with others who are also on the journey to recovery. It fosters a sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation. One-on-one counseling sessions with addiction specialists or therapists help individuals explore the root causes of their addiction, develop personalized coping strategies, and set goals for recovery. Holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness practices are incorporated to promote overall well-being, reduce stress, and aid in the recovery process.

Recovery doesn’t end with completing a treatment program. Aftercare planning involves creating a support system, developing relapse prevention strategies, and accessing resources to maintain sobriety after leaving a formal treatment setting. Support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) provide ongoing support and a sense of camaraderie with others facing similar challenges in maintaining sobriety.

If an individual has co-occurring mental health disorders alongside Adderall addiction, dual diagnosis treatment addresses both conditions simultaneously, enhancing the chances of successful recovery.

an image of Gratitude Lodge's snorting adderall side effects treatment center

Get Treatment for Adderall Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

At Gratitude Lodge, based in Southern California, we specialize in helping individuals overcome Adderall addiction and manage mental health conditions. Our rehab centers in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA, offer comprehensive treatment programs with a focus on whole-body healing. 

With our supervised medical detox, you can safely transition to a 30-day inpatient program, supported by interventions like MAT, psychotherapy, group therapy, individual counseling, family therapy, holistic therapies, and aftercare. 

Trust Gratitude Lodge for your journey from addiction to sustained recovery. Contact admissions at 888-861-1658 to kickstart your recovery.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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