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Snorting Adderall: Anyone committed to the recreational, non-medical or misuse of Adderall can easily find online videos or discussion forums about how to crush and snort the medication.
- A central nervous stimulant in the amphetamine class, Adderall is generally prescribed for a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“People with ADHD tend to have lower levels of dopamine, a key chemical in the brain’s reward center,” Ryan Davison, a neuroscientist with the American Chemical Society, told The Cut. “This means people with ADHD are constantly seeking stimulation. Amphetamines, [like Adderall], stimulate the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain so those minor distractions don’t cause you to lose focus.”
People abusing stimulants quickly build a tolerance to the drug with the result that more of it is needed to achieve the same physical effects. Even occasional or prescription use, according to the Mayo Clinic, Adderall is known to cause some of the following side effects:
- Dry mouth and physical tremors
- Loss of appetite, abdominal pain and weight loss
- Exhaustion and lack of strength
- Reduced libido and ability to orgasm
- Cravings and withdrawal
For the last 15 years, Adderall’s popularity as a recreational or extra-curricular stimulant for people without ADHD has grown. A 2008 study showed:
- approximately 34 percent of undergraduates misused the medication to meet impending assignment deadlines or while out partying with friends.
The question they should be asking is what are the dangers associated with snorting Adderall and whether snorting the drug is even as effective as taking it orally.
College students aren’t alone. Using Adderall to maintain focus in cognitively demanding industries, such as tech and finance, is something of a known quantity as well. To state the obvious, non-medical use of any central nervous stimulants is not recommended. With that established, crushing and snorting Adderall increases health risks and might not even be as effective as taking the medication in the recommended manner.
There are two variations of Adderall pills, immediate and extended release. The extended-release comes in capsules containing small beads that dissolve in the gastrointestinal tract and deliver the medication. Immediate-release Adderall are preferred by users that snort the medication because these pills are more easily crushed.
Some users claim that snorting immediate-release Adderall ensures the stimulant effects of the drug kick in faster and with more intensity. But here are a few facts and consequences of going that route:
- Crushing Adderall before ingestion means less of the drug will actually absorb into the body, as some of the drug will be lost in the process of cutting it up
- After ingestion, there’s a good chance that an additional amount of the medication doesn’t make it past a person’s nasal cavity, rendering it even less effective
- Nasal irritation and headaches are common side effects of snorting Adderall
- Bodily fluids, such as blood and mucous, can aid in the spread of disease when straws or bills are shared by users ingesting the drug nasally
Extended-release Adderall is even more difficult to snort because it’s nearly impossible to effectively crush all the tiny beads containing the amphetamine. Of course there are more negative side effects that come with abusing Adderall, especially when combined with other stimulants, such as alcohol. The most significant is dependence and addiction.
Amphetamine addiction is treatable for individuals that develop a dependency. The best way to avoid these issues altogether is to not snort or misuse Adderall in the first place and only use the medication under the care of a physician.