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What happens when you snort Xanax?

What happens when you snort Xanax?

We don’t recommend that you try snorting alprazolam, brand name = Xanax.  Nor is this mode of administration recommended by doctors.  In fact, snorting Xanax is a tell tale sign of how Xanax is abused. But we do want you to know what to expect when you snort Xanax and the risk and dangers involved. so what happens to the brain and body when you snort Xanax? And is it dangerous? Read on for more.

In fact, we hope after reading you will think twice before snorting Xanax. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below. We try to respond to every legitimate question with a personal answer and will get back to you in a timely manner.

What does snorting Xanax do?

When you change the route of administration of any drug, you change how that drug works on the body. And Xanax was never meant to be snorted. In fact, Xanax was created to be taken a certain way…orally. Xanax already has a high dependency rate. But when snorting Xanax, you risk the development of physical dependency on Xanax which can lead to painful and dangerous withdrawal. But what does snorting Xanax do to the body?

Snorting Xanax delivers alprazolam quickly to the brain. How does it happen? Xanax travels first through the nasal cavity past the mucus membrane and directly into the blood stream where it is then taken directly to the brain to work. That is why onset of effectiveness is so quick.

In a way, snorted Xanax works too well because the mode of administration can trigger a euphoric high and intense release from anxiety. All of this happens in mere minutes but can also wear off quickly, as well. In the end snorting Xanax ends up being bad for your health and is not worth the high you get from using the drug this way.

Is snorting Xanax bad for you?

Yes. Snorting Xanax is bad for you. The reason that it’s not advised you snort Xanax is because snorting Xanax is straight up dangerous. Not only can you increase negative side effects of alprazolam, you’re altering the way your brain regulates mood. You can further increase your tolerance to Xanax quickly as well as dependence on the drug, which can make withdrawal severe and painful when you stop taking Xanax. Adverse and negative effects of Xanax can include:

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  • aches and pains
  • depressed heat rate
  • dizziness and drowsiness
  • hallucinations
  • irritability
  • loss of focus
  • memory problems
  • nausea
  • short breath

Is snorting Xanax dangerous?

Yes. Snorting Xanax can be dangerous. Not only do you run a greater chance of side effects, you also run serious dangerous to your health. Because the onset of Xanax is quicker in the body when snorted, these dangers can also affect you without warning which can be scary if there is no way for you to get the help that you need. Dangerous risk include:

  • addiction
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • impaired coordination and judgment
  • overdose
  • painful withdrawal
  • spread of diseases
  • suicidal thoughts

Again, one of the greater dangers of snorting Xanax is the potential for overdose when there is an unregulated amount of Xanax in the system, overdose can happen without you even being aware of it. Signs of Xanax overdose includes:

  • change in movement
  • confusion
  • hard time talking
  • loss of consciousness
  • slowed heart beat
  • stopped breathing

If any of these occur, you need to get professional medical help as soon as possible to be treated.

Is snorting Xanax effective?

When you take Xanax orally it’s processed through the gastrointestinal, or GI tract. This process does take longer for lorazepam to activate and work on the central nervous system. However, snorted doses of Xanax have a relaxing and pleasant effect on the body in shorter time. This may be why people start snorting Xanax … because it can work so quickly.

What makes snorting Xanax more effective is that alprazolam simply bypasses the digestive process and is delivered straight into the blood stream. It then quickly, in all of its strength, does its work on the brain. When you snort Xanax, you risk:

  • accidents from being altered
  • body damage
  • increased dependence
  • increased tolerance
  • risk of addiction
  • risk of overdose
  • severe withdrawal

Can you snort Xanax?

Of course, anyone can make the decision to snort Xanax. But we ask that you evaluate the risks before snorting Xanax. Is the harm to your body worth the effects snorting Xanax can provide? Do you want to run the risks and the dangers snorting Xanax? Yes, snorting Xanax acts quicker on the body and create one powerful high. But, you also run the risk of overdose, seizures, and suicidal thought just to name a few.

Keep in mind that snorting Xanax is never recommended, nor will a doctor ever prescribe that you snort Xanax. Snorting Xanax is more a behavior addicts engage in as they need to quickly get high. If this is you, you may want to address Xanax abuse and explore the reasons you feel the need to snort Xanax rather than take it as directed.

Snorted Xanax questions

Do you still have questions concerning snorted Xanax? Please feel free to ask us anything related to Xanax use below. We welcome any question you have and we will get back to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: U.S. Department of  Justice: Other Dangerous Drugs
NIDA: Prescription drugs for potential abuse
Daily Med Alprazolam

Photo credit: WikiMedia Commons

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49 Responses to “What happens when you snort Xanax?
Star
4:04 am November 17th, 2013

If a person snorts 30 0.25 mg Xanax is that a lethal amount?

11:25 am November 18th, 2013

Hello Star. The amount needed to overdose on Xanax will vary from person to person but is fairly high. The dose is generally based on your body weight, previous exposure to Xanax, metabolism and other factors. Try calling the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an expert opinion and medical advice.

Kat
12:00 am December 4th, 2013

This is wrong. This is so, so, so wrong. Benzodiazepines require absorption through the gut in order to work. Other than the injectable formulations, which have to be chemically altered, snorting Xanax means whatever post-nasal drip the stomach absorbs is all the high you’re going to get.

1:19 pm December 6th, 2013

Hi Kat. We’ve consulted with medical doctors on your claim. Snorting benzodiazepines actually increases the amount of time the drugs stay in your system, and greatly quickens onset of action. When snorted, drugs enter the bloodstream via the nasal tissues, and then very quickly cross the blood-brain barrier. In addition to faster onset, longer duration of effect occurs because (as you mention) Xanax needs to pass through the liver to be metabolized. This does not mean that when snorted, the drug is not active. It just means that when snorted, it takes longer to metabolize and LEAVE the body. To be clear, regardless of efficacy, we never recommend snorting Xanax.

Mike
8:56 pm February 26th, 2014

Researchers have found it be very dangerous snorting xanax.

Professional
5:48 am April 11th, 2014

Snorting Xanax gets you VERY high… Itranasal is the preferred route of administration of this drug by benzo fiends

claire
8:31 am May 5th, 2014

I snorted xanax once just to try it. 10mg, i smoke weed and used to be addicted to narcotics, and let me tell you it was crazy. i had to make myself “sleep it off” because i couldnt function.

Jim
3:45 am May 24th, 2014

Is it safer to dissolve under the tongue for a slightly faster effect?

melinda
5:34 am June 15th, 2014

My boyfriend just recently snorted xanax I’m not sure of the amount. He was previously addicted to klimax and cocaine. He has been of those for a year. Is xanax just as addicting?

3:16 pm June 16th, 2014

Hello Melinda. Yes, Xanax is addictive. Especially when snorted. But it is a CNS depressant, a different type of drug than stimulants. Its addictive potential is present, but lower than that of cocaine.

Jo Ann Weaver
5:12 am June 19th, 2014

I believe my 18yr. old nephew passed away from an overdose of xanax. will this show up in the autopsy blood work?

1:28 pm June 19th, 2014

Hello Jo Ann. Xanax rarely causes overdose; ask about the amount of alprazolam metabolites in his system at time of death. More info here: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/can-you-overdose-od-on-xanax/

Patty
2:21 am July 1st, 2014

My daughter snorted Xanax a week ago and got very sick. Her bones hurt and she sweat profusely for days. Up until this day she feels sick like she gets cold easily, bones hurt, and still does not have an appetite. Should I be worried and take her to emergency room. Is it possible she has irreversible damage?? It’s like she’s had the flu for a week. It was her first time trying it.

Casey
10:51 pm July 5th, 2014

My friend snorted some xanax yesterday night I’m not sure how much. But he couldn’t get to sleep and seemed disoriented. I would think he was asleep, then he would get up and walk around my room he ended up walking into my closet and he then he collapsed and ended up falling on my leg. He also seemed really irritable. I think he also drank some alcohol too. He wasn’t able to function very well he kept falling and not knowing what was going on and he was restless; it seemed like he was asleep, but awake at the same time and couldn’t tell the difference. I am concerned, are those behaviors normally associated when you snort xanax? I am afraid if he continues and acts the same way he’ll end up hurting himself or someone else like he did last night when he fell on my leg.

9:10 am July 7th, 2014

Hi Casey. Snorting Xanax is not safe at all, and what makes it even more dangerous is drinking alcohol along with meds like Xanax. In cases of emergency like these you should call 911, because he might overdose or hurt himself accidentally while he’s under the influence and unaware of his actions. You can also call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk or with help on what to do next.

Zeke
4:44 am July 26th, 2014

Anything CAN be snorted. But that doesn’t mean that anything SHOULD be snorted. All Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax) are almost entirely insoluble in water. Being that the mucosal membranes in your nose are mostly water – you would actually be wasting Xanax by snorting it.

If you want the full effects of the medication, take it how it’s supposed to be taken – swallow it. No other route of administration will work for Benzodiazepines. At least, not without the proper solvents. (Water, is not one of them)

Jodie
1:15 am August 16th, 2014

My husband has been on xanax for years. Sometime in the past six months he has started snorting it. He is now trying to go back to taking it orally. He is suffering what I think are withdrawal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). He says that since he is taking it orally he shouldn’t be having withdrawals. What do you think?

Tina
3:21 am August 17th, 2014

This information has been helpful, I just caught my 25 yr old son cutting up a powderXanax to snort he is a recovering heroin addict, is now on suboxone I thought the suboxone would help him from having the desire or need to keep using ? What will this do to him taking both he was shooting up his suboxone in the past also messed up!

Javier
12:09 pm August 23rd, 2014

I have snorted xanax and taken Xanex regularly the last 4 days. Even smoked it in a joint. What are my sideeffects of short term use?

darrin
5:55 am September 10th, 2014

Snorting any kind of pills is a very stupid thing to do not only stupid but deadly think about your family and friends before you die like my best friend who o d d on 3 ” bars” of snorted xanax thank you for reading this hope this helps thank you

Lydia
11:16 pm September 29th, 2014

I agree completely with Darrin. Snorting any sort of substance is abusing it. Not one single doctor is going to tell you that it is ok to take a prescription drug by that route. And because of the overdose risk, it is an extremely selfish thing to even
think about doing. I am on xanax for anxiety but take it the correct way!! So many people just want to get high these days to escape reality. If your reality is that bad, seek help and if you cannot take medications the way they are meant to be taken, again seek help or stop taking those medications. Life is not that bad people. Try living it sober so you can remember it!!!

Marcos
6:25 am October 1st, 2014

Does all this apply to chronic use or just one time?

11:42 am October 2nd, 2014

Hi Marcos. The information in this article is explaining the side-effects of frequent snorting of Xanax. But, depending on one’s physical condition, there are possible risks and damages that can occur even with one time use.

john
9:16 am October 17th, 2014

i have a friend named Tabasco who consumed 4 alprazalam .25 mg with alcochol and he looks and says he feels fine?

Joey
4:29 am October 26th, 2014

I have been a regular user of xanax since a year ago, and I take a maximum of 2mg per day, but it takes up to 4 hours to make any effect at all, sometimes I have been in the midst of a panic attack and have taken a really high dosage via sublingual but it just takes too long to make any effect, Ive tried snortin .5 mg and 1mg and have felt literally nothing. Am I weird? should I experiment with more? I know about the risks, but honestly I don’t mind. Serious answers please.

karren
10:03 pm October 27th, 2014

felt great. i snorted it and then drank and then i woke up wanting more..i wanted more alcohol and Xanax its great

Sapphire
7:23 am November 11th, 2014

I occasionally snort Xanax. I sometimes feel that it is better than taking it orally. It works fast and I have never had any bad side effects from it the only thing is I get sleepy. I know snorting can be dangerous but if you watch it and know how much you can handle it doesn’t matter what route you take it because it’s in your system either way…

Debbie
8:08 pm November 17th, 2014

Last night I bought H from a friend of a friend. I have been using for about a year now. Upon delivery, I noticed that the soft actually looks like a bunch of tiny white rocks. I break those down and snort them. I IMMEDIATELY feel dopey. About an hour later I start nodding. The person I usually go through, with their product, I usually need about 3-4 to start nodding (I know that his stuff is cut to hell) By the time I get home and change I am HIGH AS HELL. slept through the night (waking up for snacks every once in awhile and spilling shit all over me while nodding). I just woke up and feel groggy. Is it possible that this guy sold me a bunch of Xanax? How can I tell the difference? Where can I find a bunk kit? And please, don’t judge me. I am seeking help after this. I’m over spending all of my money and feeling like shit all the time. Thank you for your time.

BILL
5:55 pm November 18th, 2014

is nasal ingestion or suppository easier on the liver than sending through gastrointestinal route?bg

OP8
1:10 pm December 12th, 2014

Whoever says that snorting xanax is ineffective, in my opinion, is completely wrong.. I have a fairly high tolerance to Opiates and I take Benzos about once or twice a week, but if i snort a whole 2mg bar at once im on cloud 9. As for mixing Benzos with alcohol, it is not a very good idea. Any time i have done that I’ve wound up with two effects, throwing up and time travel. I say time travel because if I have sniffed 2mg of Xanax after about two shots and two beers I blackout and wake up the next day with people telling me all types of dumb shit I did that i have absolutely no recognition of. .

brian
8:03 pm January 1st, 2015

If a person suffers from a serious digestive issue is it possible that their body would not absorb xanax or other medications like hydrocodone ? The digestive issue in question would be crohns. Thank you.

Stacy
5:04 am January 10th, 2015

My friends son was snorting xanax and drinking alcohol and smoking weed. He then shot himself in the head in front of his three lifelong friends after arguing with his girlfriend. His perception was clouded and suicidal thoughts are a side effect listed. Only 20 yrs old. Not worth it!

2:05 pm January 16th, 2015

Hi Stacy. I’m very sorry about your son’s friend! Worst thing is, people aren’t usually informed of the full spectrum of possible side effects, and it’s the prescribing doctors’ job to do that. I hope he’s remembered for the person he was by those who loved him, and not by this tragic ending of his life. I hope this story serves as a warning for other people to be more cautious around medications and side effects they cause.

Aymatix
9:50 am January 20th, 2015

How is snorting Xanax possible if it is not water saluable. Please consult with the professionals on this I need to know ! I’ve been reading mixed answers from saying it’s a total waste to saying it’s the most effective. Which one is it ?

Mike
11:48 pm January 20th, 2015

Is it possible for Xanax to sta in someones system for more tham 2 years after quitting the drug? If they only snorted about 6 pills.

Mike
12:56 am January 21st, 2015

Is it possible to get prickly feelings in body from Xanax if you only snorted about 8 Xanax and get the feelings about 4 years later?

Maria
5:43 am February 6th, 2015

As someone who enjoys euphoric highs and is a heavy marijuana user I have tried this method of ingestion before I would say if u r trying to feel like ur drunk without actually drinking this is one way to do it. It brings on an intense high that can last for hours but it does build tolerance fast. U can go from popping one to snorting three in a matter of days. so if u do decide to try this just be very careful because it is extremely good which makes it all the more dangerous

Hass
11:55 pm April 21st, 2015

its shocking how d**b people sound on here… U can snort water if u want… Take too much in, and it’s called drowning. Drugs that are to b taken orally obviously last longer if taken the way described…. For those LOOKING to just experiment, go to college, study Chem u bored f***s. Those who actually have addictive personallities, snorting will always get U hooked faster, if you are just looking to get high. For those with severe anxiety, if u cannot wait for your pill to kick in when taken orally, I could see why snorting half and ingesting the other half might relax you faster but snorting does leave a psychological dependency even with nose spray. I am not a doctor, and I don’t stay at holiday inns, I just enjoy breathing air.

Ryan
6:07 pm May 2nd, 2015

I suffer from serious anxiety. I haven’t been able to eat breakfast for 2 years because I am nervous to go to work (minor social phobia, stage fright, etc.). I am on the LOWEST dose of Xanax and it has done wonders for me. I feel like myself, am able to eat, and live a more balance life. I can actually calm down at night and go to bed.

For those of you wanting to get the euphoric high from Xanax… are you d*mb? Yes, I’ve taken a bar or so a couple times in my life when I was young, and know what it’s like. But it’s not worth it, people die from seizures when they withdrawal from this stuff. It makes those of us who use it responsibly look bad. Look at the suicides in the comments above. Go find another, cheaper, safer drug, like marijuana. If you have anxiety, smoke indica dominant strains, NOT sativa. Sativa will cause paranoia and anxiety, whereas I find indicas to relive the former 2.

Ryan
6:08 pm May 2nd, 2015

To the rest of you, thank you for all of your comments. Xanax addiction is a serious issue in today’s age, with so many people hooked on it (who are actually prescribed). There are much safer alternatives to the use of Xanax. I recommend the use of marijuana. It has over 200 medical uses. Consult your doctor first. Hope this helps. Marijuana will help you live longer if used properly and responsibly. It absolutely obliterates stress, which is one of the deadliest things for your body. EDUCATE YOURSELF :)

BlueEyes
1:23 am May 12th, 2015

I have the highest benzo tolerance of anyone I’ve ever known. I will take 6mg of clonopin and 2 xanax bars (4mg) and 90mg of Restoril (3 – 30mg), and still feel hardly NOTHING. When I first started taking the stuff 1mg clonopin would help me fall asleep or stop a panic attack, and 30mg Restoril would knock me out and help me sleep soundly. Benzo tolerance and dependence builds VERY quickly for some people, so for those I don’t think that it would be lethal. I will add that I am on 90mg oxycodone and 60mg morphine for chronic pain due to a car wreck, and yet all this combined I have severe insomnia even when I throw in 10 Benedryl and 20mg melatonin and valerian root. It’s ridiculous and SO frustrating.

BlueEyes
5:00 pm May 27th, 2015

I’ve heard from some people that it’s a waste to take xan intranasally, but I have witnessed it being done and it certainly DID have a major effect VS. taking it orally. How much someone can safely take greatly depends on their height/weight, metabolism, how much they have eaten that day, and most of all: tolerance. I was started at only 0.5mg of Clonazepam (Kpin) and it worked quite well for my anxiety attacks and to help treat insomnia. Now I’m on 3mg/day and hardly even feel it and need more like 3 times that amount to have the same effect. Once someone develops benzo tolerance they can handle much much more

Royals
2:58 pm June 11th, 2015

I get a prescription once a month for 2mg xanax, and I found that snorting them does in fact give me a better high, and I feel great. My anxiety is completely gone and I feel like I am extremely happy. I do not snort more than one or two a day, but after they are gone, I always have a weird tension headache and my nose runs so bad. I usually don’t have any other symptoms other than diarrhea for the first few days. I’m wondering are these actual withdrawal symptoms?

GPMiller
8:40 pm June 11th, 2015

#1. Is there a danger to chewing Xanax rather than washing it down?

#2. 120mgs of Xanax with beer. Results?

Linda
6:48 am June 27th, 2015

What does euphoric mean? What do you mean by snorting xanax it spreads diseases. I have a friend well not anymore but she always would snort xanax and also pain pills that didn’t have Tylenol are pain pills also bad for you?

Andrew
12:15 am July 8th, 2015

Hello. So i am here to get some professional advice since i am a heavy addict abuser of xanax. I use about 2-3mg of xanax every night and around 1.5-2mg i snort, to get the high that my tolerence has led me to. To make things worse, i am on methadone treatment of high dose, 90ml a day, i inject heroin and crack together on high dose too, and finally i abuse strong alcohol combined with all of the above, that makes a cocktail of strong drugs that makes my high extremely pleasant, but im aware how dangerous it is and how quickly it can lead me to death, So my questions is, how do i start to dismantle my crazy routine? ive done this for more then a year now and my health is deteriorating rapidly, i can feel my kidneys or liver starting to give up bit by bit, please give me some strong professional advice because i dont know where to start. I would appreciate it so much. Thanks for reading.

it not me it my sister law
12:05 pm July 8th, 2015

She been passed out and I think she sorted Xanax get confused can’t talk same time her speech just go bad all at once and she go around all the time shorted her noise she don’t no where she at half the time and I think she been doing this for a long time because it get worse she was just pass out 1 day but now it 3 times a day please if you got a answer to give to me what it can do to help this girl she needs it bad and I don’t want anything to happen to her. Tell me how I can help this woman she a sweet person but she start on thy and then she just at right by 10:00 am morning she done higher. please let me no what I can get to help her it don’t look to good now I just need to find her same help

12:38 pm July 8th, 2015

To “it not me it my sister law”. You can call the helpline number displayed on our page to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers and find what type of treatment will be best to help your sister in law’s addictive habit.

12:45 pm July 9th, 2015

Hello Andrew. Reaching out for help is the first step – which you just took. I’d advise you to call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in contact with our trusted treatment providers and get informed about the treatment options available to you.

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