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ADD & ADHD Center

What Are the Dangers of Snorting Adderall?

author image Gianna Rose
Gianna Rose is a registered nurse certified in hospice and palliative care, as well as a certified wellness coach. She completed Duke Integrative Medicine's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course in 2009. Rose also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
What Are the Dangers of Snorting Adderall?
Snorting adderall increases the risk of addiction. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Adderall--known generically as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine--is a central nervous system stimulant prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and narcolepsy. Adderall is a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and addiction. It is sometimes abused by crushing the tablets and snorting the resulting powder, in an attempt to intensify the effects of the drug.


Amphetamines are highly addictive, and snorting Adderall increases the risk of addiction. Users who snort the drug tend to use much larger quantities than those who are taking the drug as directed. The intensified effects from snorting Adderall creates a strong reinforcement mechanism which causes further use, according to "The Georgetown Independent." Chronic misuse of and addiction to Adderall causes severe insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability and personality changes. Withdrawal symptoms include extreme fatigue, severe depression, sleep disturbances, stroke, restlessness and agitation.

Damage to Respiratory Tissues

Adderall tablets are meant to be taken by mouth. When crushed and snorted, ingredients only intended for contact with the gastrointestinal tract contact the nasal lining, sinuses and lungs. Damage to the lining of the nose and sinuses can result, according to health services at Columbia University.

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Psychotic Episodes

Adderall can cause some users to experience psychotic episodes, or loss of connection with reality, according to Shire U.S., Inc., the manufacturer. It can also cause other psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, extreme agitation, feelings of hostility and serious depression.

Sudden Death

Adderall carries the risk of sudden death in those with an abnormal heart structure, even when used in the correct manner and dose. Snorting Adderall increases this risk. When snorted, the drug enters the bloodstream faster and at higher concentrations, says Columbia University. Abusers can also suffer from dangerously high fever and blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and convulsions.

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