Snorting Ambien

Can snorting Ambien get you high? Is snorting Ambien effective vs taking Ambien orally? What dangers are present when you snort a prescription drug and can they be avoided? More on snorting Ambien effects here.

minute read

If you’re thinking about snorting Ambien to get high (we do not endorse snorting any drug), you need to know how to prevent potential harm.

Here, we review what happens in the body while snorting Ambien, as well as the dangers and safety concerns of snorting Ambien (you can get addicted to Ambien for years). Then, we invite your questions about using Ambien at the end. We try to answer all legitimate questions about Ambien with a personal and prompt reply.

Ambien: What are you really snorting?

Ambien contains the drug zolpidem, and is used to help treat insomnia, or troubling falling and staying asleep. Ambien stay in your system for a few days and comes as both a regular and extended-release tablet. In addition to the active ingredient zolpidem, Ambien contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, potassium bitartrate, red ferric oxide, sodium starch glycolate, and coloring agents.

Snorting Ambien to get high

Snorting Ambien allows zolpidem to be rapidly absorbed into the blood stream through nasal tissues. This can be dangerous, because snorting causes the drug to be absorbed in higher amounts than would normally enter the blood all at once. Such a large dose can result in overdose, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure, slowed breathing, and potential death. Even if you don’t overdose on Ambien, snorting it raises the risk of serious adverse effects compared to oral administration.

How does snorting Ambien affect the body?

Ambien is part of the sedative-hypnotic family of medications. Ambien works by slowing activity in the brain, which causes drowsiness. However, Ambien can also cause psychoactive effects if it’s taken in a manner other than prescribed snorting, for example. Possible psychoactive effects of snorting Ambien include hallucinations, but more commonly insufflated Ambien just causes trouble with concentration, focus, and coordination. Note also that even when taken as presribed, Ambien can cause memory loss if it’s taken without getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep.

Snorting Ambien vs oral

Ambien is only intended to be taken orally. The oral preparation is the safer of the two methods, for sure. Although snorting Ambien causes a quicker onset of effects, it also puts you at risk of the toxic effects of the drug.

Snorting Ambien side effects

Taking Ambien orally usually causes drowsiness and dizziness. In some people, Ambien can cause sleepwalking, and even carrying out daily activities during sleep. This can range from driving, to cooking, to even initiating sexual encounters – none of which the person will have any memory of doing. As you can imagine, this already extremely dangerous behavior is more than possible when you snort Ambien. Severe side effects of Ambien are more rare, but may occur more often when the medication is not taken as prescribed. Possible serious side effects of snorting Ambien include:

  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • changes in mood or mental health
  • coma
  • pounding heartbeat
  • slowed breathing or heartbeat
  • vomiting

Snorting Ambien dangers

The side effects of snorting Ambien can be serious. Insufflating Ambien can put you at risk of accidents due to the drowsiness and confusion it causes. But snorting drugs also increases harm in ways that you may not expect. Snorting can harm your nasal passages and spread diseases like bacterial infections or Hepatitis, especially if you are sharing snorting straws/instruments. Snorting Ambien can also increase the risk that you will become addicted to this habit-forming medication. And, of course, snorting Ambien puts you at risk of overdose and death.

Snorting Ambien safely

While the FDA warns against snorting Ambien, it is safer to take the lower-dose, immediately-release tablet nasally than the extended-release tablet, which is not intended to be taken all at once. As a general guide, the FDA recommends no more than 12.5 mg of Ambien per day.

Snorting Ambien questions

Do you still have questions about snorting Ambien? If so, please let us know. We respond to all Ambien questions with a personal and prompt reply. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who does!

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Zolpidem
DailyMed: Ambien CR
NHTSA: Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets: Zolpidem
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. @M.J. Get her help! She sounds like she is trying to “get out of herself” if that makes sense. She may be depressed, seeking a way out of the doom, darkness, despair, & loneliness. I don’t know your daughter, but I do know depression & drug addiction, they usually go hand in hand. I also know I wouldn’t judge her, or yell at her, or even talk AT her, she is in some sort of serious emotional pain, I would just gently talk to her, ask her questions, make her feel its o.k. to share this with u, I’m definitely not dictating how to handle this upsetting situation, I’ve been there & the last thing I wanted was people to hate & judge me when I did that to myself, & I am a far harsher critic to myself than any other could ever be……with the heroin epidemic, my history of “experimenting to numb” my own heroin addiction, (clean now 7 years, thank u Jesus!) I just wouldn’t take the chance of losing your beautiful daughter, I’ve been blessed with a second chance at life, I hope whatever u decide to do, its outcome is a stronger mother/daughter bond & your daughter to find serenity without using.

  2. hey yes your post was full of information, though initially I was really wanting to know why like whats the big deal what do they get out of it? im lost and don’t understand why somebody very close to me chooses to snort these blame things and they are the extended release too! I myself am also wondering with the best of your knowledge if you may answer one more question, theyre telling me hes tolorante and that he can taketwo at once, so with tolerance being a factor should I keep my eyes on him?? thanks so very much for taking your time to answer my questions thanks!

  3. I believe my daughter is snorting ambien. I caught her doing something with a straw one night and shortly after she began feeling really funny and she passed out and wasn’t breathing when I finally got her to wake up she was gasping for air! It scared me so bad! Just before she passed out she said “if I pass out you have to wake me up!” Why would she do this?

  4. Is there a way to compare snorting dosages to swallowing dosages? Or is it simply the speed at which the drug enters one’s system? A friend of mine only snorts half when he takes it because he claims snorting doesn’t require as much Ambient as swallowing. Is this true? If so, how could I compare the two for dosage?

  5. I have a question. I’ve always had difficult with sleeping due to what was for decades my lifestyle. The immediate release worked, but after 4-5 hours I would WAKE UP, just like that, and there was no getting back to sleep. I talked to my doctor about this. He then prescribed me the 12.5 CR. I’ve had one refill. I’m finding that it takes longer to fall asleep, and still don’t get any more sleep so I’m thinking I may as well go back to the 10mg IR. At least then I could take it at midnight, be asleep, sound asleep, by 12:30, and get a good, solid 5 hours of sleep. Anything beats tossing and turning wondering if you’re ever going to fall asleep until you give in and get up and turn the TV on and then you may as well just forget it. Has anyone else noticed that difference being the 10mg IR and the 12.5 CR. My pharmacist told me that the 10mg in the 12.5 was what was immediately released, and then the 2.5 mg. were slowly released to help continue sleeping. Is it just me

    1. Hi, Jackie. I really don’t know, but have in mind that snorting is considered abusive and illegal. Also, it may put yourself t risk.

  6. I have been on Ambien 10 mg for a couple Years now..I Don’t feel the getting high part at all..All i know is when I take it, The next thing is I am waking up in the Morning. I have been told that I sleep walk and talk. I Go from Room to Room cussing at my Boyfriend.I was also woken up at one time while I was COOKING GREASE in a Cast Iron Pan.The Person who woke me up,told me, he smelt something burning,came into the Kitchen and there I was Cooking GREASE..He said when he turned me around and looked at my Eyes.There was nothing there..He got scared and started shaking me to wakeup..I call that a Blank Shire. And it’s so weird how I don’t remember anything the next day…Has anyone else ever been told they do any of this while taking Ambein???

    1. Hi, MeChelle. This episodes may be really dangerous for you as well as for your family. I suggest you consult your doctor on changing the medication, or changing the dosage.

  7. I found the ambien helped me out so much, even more than those lame knock offs they give you like lunesta..but. Oh it has a Big Luna moth! So what! That’s just to distract you from the penny mouth taste you will get every time you take it, and the Trazadone!!! Uhhh more like trazazzooonnee, and that zombie feeling you get when to wake up no matter how many hours of sleep you get, been there tried them all, well most, that I know of and ambien by far is the best, I could care less about taking them till dead who cares at least i can actually fall asleep. for some reason after taking then orally for so long they weren’t hitting me like they used to so I went the other route,a lil sniff sniff here is now the fastest way I fall asleep now.

  8. Just heads up absolutely do NOT drink or smoke anything if you take one. I made that mistake and could barley see and honestly thought I was going to die. I was about to call the ambulance, instead I drove home, and have absolutely no recollection of even driving home. I couldn’t ran someone over for all I know. Other than that, totally calming when the effects start happening, I love laying in bed with music when I start hallucinating. Calms me down lol.

  9. I’ve been on Ambien (generic) 10 mg for several months and while I still have that night every once in a while when they don’t help, I can generally blame that on drinking too much coca-cola and the caffeine in it well into the evening all the way up to bedtime, or a particularly stressful situation. However, for the most part, it has been extremely helpful. I still have a drug hangover from it so I guess I always will but over these last several months is the first time in I can’t remember how long that I actually sleep for a minimum of 6 hours and can go the whole 8 hours. 2 cups of coffee in the morning, another routine for decades, and I’m fine.

    Personally, I never noticed a “high” from it other than it beginning to take effect. Or, in other words, the state of feeling one’s self getting drowsier and then like that, about 15 minutes later I would guess, I’m sleeping. The talk about Ambien and it being a hypnotic takes me back to the 70’s when I did do a hypnotic regularly for the purpose of getting f***ed up. Placidyl’s. Like comparing baby aspirin to morphine. I don’t know if they even prescribe/make them anymore. It definitely wasn’t via prescription that we were getting them. Back then, $5 per pill was a lot of money. The green, if I recall, were stronger than the red. Okay, enough reminiscing now. Now, I take my prescriptions and leave it at that. Anyone out there looking just to get high, heed my advice. Stick with pot and an occasional trip if that stuff is any good anymore. I’ve experienced the worst of drug addiction on more than one occasion, it’s not something you want to toy with.

  10. Kaya…maybe you should cancel your subscription and get a prescription 🙂 ;-). You have full 100% control over your body and what you put in it, if you feel you have been on that medication too long do not ask, tell your doctor to start weaning you off of the medication effective immediately. Not just with ambien with any other medications that you can develop a tolerance or an addiction to. Sorry for the joke in the beginning… time a guy told me that I had issues and I told him I have so many issues that I have a subscription because I get new issues every month. 🙂 have a wonderful day and I hope the serious part of this post helped.

  11. I’ve taken well over 70 mg of ambien in various diffrent delivery methods, and nothing, absolutly nothing….would love to know why

  12. Hello Justin. I’d suggest that you report the difficulty using zolpidem for the first 3 nights to your prescribing doctor. There may be a period during which initial use requires daily dosing before effect begins. Generic medications that match branded Rx pills with the same contents are just as effective as name brands. Name brands include the active ingredients and the name…that’s about all the difference. Snorting any drug can cause permanent damage to the nose and nasal/sinus passage. Not to mention physical and psychological dependence. Report your experiences to your prescribing doctor for some medically sound advice.

  13. I have ADHD and take 60mg of vyvanse every morning, it helps me stay relaxed, calm, focused, and less impulsive. I also get prescribed ambien for sleep at night, I took them orally the first 3 nights (10mg) (white 79 pill) and noticed no effects at all, so I decided to start snorting them. The only way I can feel the effects is by snorting them, I’m seeing my doctor very soon, should I ask for the non generic? Do they work better? If they do work better, I would start taking them orally again. What does snorting ambien every night do to your mental health over an extended period of time? Will it make my vyvanse less effective? Vyvanse is the only medicine that has ever helped my ADHD and I love how it makes me feel normal. Thanks..

  14. Hi Bruno. This would be a question for an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist. My (unprofessional) understanding is that snorting mainly affects the sinuses and cavities. But I do wonder if it’s possible that snorting pills can aggravate the vocal cords, too.

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