Snorting Adderall: Is It Dangerous? (Understanding the Science)

Snorting Adderall can cause various problems with the nose and sinuses. It may also increase the risk of overdose and other health issues.

Adderall Basics

Adderall is a stimulant that is prescribed for different conditions, most commonly attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Any use of this medication outside of prescription use poses a wide array of dangers. A survey in 2016 in the U.S. showed that about 1.7 million people abused prescription stimulants like Adderall.

What Are the Dangers of Snorting Adderall?

People snort Adderall because the effects occur faster when compared to taking the drug orally. The drug gets into the nose’s blood vessels where it is carried to the brain. People usually experience the effects in about 10 minutes or less.

Negative issues can occur when snorting this drug. The skin inside and around the nose can sustain irritation and damage. This may lead to frequent nosebleeds, soreness, and dry and flaky skin.

When someone snorts this drug regularly, the septum that separates their nostrils can slowly disappear. This can leave a hole in the person’s nose. If someone has this hole in their nose, they may be at a higher risk for infection.

Since the powder travels through the sinus cavities, there is an increased risk of sinusitis when someone snorts Adderall. If they continue to snort the drug after developing sinusitis, the condition may become chronic. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Nasal drainage or discharge that is thick and discolored going down the back of the throat
  • Tenderness, pain, and swelling around the cheeks, forehead, nose, and eyes
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Nasal congestion or obstruction

Is There a Method or Amount That Is Safe?

The only safe way to use Adderall is under a doctor’s supervision. Even then, there is the risk of side effects.
Any misuse or abuse or Adderall can be dangerous. In some cases, the risks of using Adderall outside of a doctor’s prescription (which means exactly as the prescription states) include addiction, psychosis, cardiac arrest, stroke, and death.

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone

Overdose Risks

Ultimately, a person’s sensitivity to stimulants determines how easily they can overdose on Adderall.
In general, the lethal dose of this type of drug is 20 to 25 mg (milligrams) for every kilogram (kg) of body weight. For example, if a person weighs 154 pounds, or 70 kg, the lethal dosage of Adderall would be about 1400 mg.

The following are possible symptoms of Adderall overdose:

  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Very high fever
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Rapid respiration
  • Panic states
  • Rhabdomyolysis

There have been reports of serotonin syndrome occurring with an Adderall overdose. The primary symptoms of this syndrome include high body temperature, increased reflexes, sweating, diarrhea, agitation, tremors, and dilated pupils.
It occurs as a result of serotonin levels in the body becoming too high. Without prompt medical treatment, this syndrome can be fatal.

Is Adderall Cut With Other Drugs?

If someone is abusing Adderall pills, they usually obtain them from family and friends. In these cases, the pills are typically pure and not cut with any other drugs. However, if someone buys the pills off the street, they have no way to know if other drugs are combined with the Adderall.Adderall on the street could be cut with any number of other substances, such as fillers like baking soda or deadly drugs like fentanyl. Depending on the drugs it is cut with, this could pose significant danger, including the risk for an overdose.

How Adderall Affects the Brain and Body

Adderall combines dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, two central nervous system stimulants. Once these drugs get to the brain, they act like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These are naturally occurring neurotransmitters.

Dopamine is a neurochemical that acts as a reward. It is responsible for the euphoric feelings that people can experience with Adderall. It may also make it more difficult for the brain to become distracted, resulting in greater focus.

Epinephrine causes a fight-or-flight reaction by influencing the sympathetic nervous system. This reduces appetite while increasing clarity, alertness, and focus.
Norepinephrine stays in the synapses longer than epinephrine. This allows increased clarity, alertness, and the focus to last longer. Norepinephrine also further improves attention.

When taking Adderall, several side effects can occur. The most common are:

  • Nervousness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hoarseness
  • Changes in vision
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Vision changes
  • Slowed speech

Certain serious side effects require immediate medical attention. Among them are:

  • Weakness and fever
  • Uncontrollable tics, shaking, or seizures
  • Worsening depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders
  • Limb numbness
  • Paranoia, hallucinations, or other thought issues

Snorting Increases Risks

Any abuse of Adderall poses a risk. Snorting the drug comes with the dangers of the drug itself and the problems that occur when a drug is inserted nasally.
Anyone who is snorting Adderall should get help before overdose or long-term damage occurs.