Health Dangers from Snorting & Sniffing Pills

Addicts have found multiple ways of using drugs. Drugs can be taken orally, smoked, injected, and sniffed or snorted. Different ingestion methods achieve a more intense high in a shorter amount of time and have other side effects. Many addicts think by snorting a drug, they are safer because they aren’t injecting it intravenously. Another misconception is if an addict is snorting a prescribed drug rather than a street drug, they are also safer. Both of these misconceptions are far from the truth. Snorting prescribed drugs is just as dangerous as shooting up street drugs.

Some drugs that are commonly snorted include:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • Opioid painkillers, such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin
  • Prescription stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin

What are the Health Dangers from Snorting & Sniffing Pills?

Snorting or sniffing pills poses significant health dangers. Here are some of the major risks associated with this method of drug intake:

Physical Health Risks:

  1. Nasal and Sinus Damage: Irritation, inflammation, and damage to the nasal passages and sinuses, potentially leading to chronic nasal issues or infections.
  2. Respiratory Issues: Particles from the pills can enter the lungs, causing respiratory problems or infections.
  3. Nosebleeds: Frequent snorting can cause persistent nosebleeds.
  4. Loss of Smell: Potential damage to the olfactory receptors, leading to a reduced or complete loss of the sense of smell.
  5. Sinus Infections: Increased risk of sinus infections due to damage and irritation of the nasal passages.
  6. Perforated Septum: Severe damage to the nasal septum, the cartilage, and bone dividing the nostrils, which can result in a hole (perforation).

Systemic Health Risks:

  1. Cardiovascular Issues: Increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and risk of heart attack or stroke due to rapid absorption of the drug into the bloodstream.
  2. Toxicity and Overdose: Higher risk of toxicity and overdose as snorting often leads to faster and more intense drug effects.
  3. Infections: Risk of infections from contaminated drugs or paraphernalia.
  4. Organ Damage: Potential for liver and kidney damage from the high concentration of the drug and inactive ingredients.

Psychological and Behavioral Risks:

  1. Addiction: Increased risk of developing a substance use disorder due to the rapid and intense high.
  2. Mental Health Issues: Potential exacerbation of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
  3. Cognitive Impairment: Possible long-term cognitive deficits with prolonged use.

Other Risks:

  1. Impurities and Contaminants: Risk of snorting harmful substances that may be mixed with the pills.
  2. Legal Issues: Legal consequences associated with the misuse of prescription medications.

Snorting or sniffing pills can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening health issues. It is important to use medications only as prescribed and seek help if struggling with substance misuse.

What Is Sniffing/Snorting?

Snorting or sniffing is when an addict inhales a drug in powder form or a crushed-up pill through the nose. This way of administration is also referred to as nasal insufflation or intranasal.

Because it is misunderstood that snorting prescribed drugs, such as pills, is safer than shooting up street drugs, there has been a rise in overdoses due to snorting prescription pills.

Prescription pills are made to be taken in a particular way, often ingested orally, and to be released slowly. When taken the right way, the medication is broken down in the stomach before being absorbed into the bloodstream over time. By snorting, the drug’s full effect is released almost immediately by going straight into the bloodstream via blood vessels in the nasal cavity, which can have serious consequences.

Health Dangers from Snorting Pills

Your nose simply wasn’t meant to inhale powders. Sniffing or snorting drugs has multiple health consequences. You can damage your respiratory system, making it difficult for you to breathe normally. The mucous membranes in your nose are incredibly delicate and can be easily damaged. When these get damaged, they stop functioning normally, making your typical respiratory actions not work correctly.

Other side effects of snorting drugs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart
  • Loss of smell
  • Nosebleeds
  • Frequent runny nose
  • Problems with swallowing

Long-term effects are the most severe and often cause permanent damage to the nose. Long-term snorting of drugs sets up a cascade of infections and damage leading to perforation in the septum part of the nose. A nasal septum perforation is a medical condition in which the nasal septum, the bony/cartilage wall dividing the nasal cavities, develops a hole.

The belief that snorting drugs cannot lead to addiction is also far from true. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs. But over time, a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised. Seeking and taking the drug becomes compulsive. This is primarily due to the effects of long-term drug exposure on brain function. Addiction affects parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior.

If you or a loved one have been sorting or sniffing pills and noticed the signs of addiction such as:

  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Disregard of harm
  • Loss of control
  • Denial
  • Mood change
  • Loss of interest
  • Denial
  • Hiding drug use

We Are Here to Help with Drug Addiction

We At Allure Detox can help you get in the right direction to recovery. The priority of a detox is to help patients stop using drugs and alcohol safely. But Allure’s Medical detox offers more: a renewed love of life.

We look forward to working with you and your family to get your lives back on track. Contact us around the clock for a confidential assessment, and let’s see if Allure Detox is the right treatment center for yourself or a loved one.

Published on: 2020-02-05
Updated on: 2024-06-26