Snorting Xanax

Is snorting Xanax effective? Any differences between snorting vs taking Xanax orally? And can snorting Xanax get you high? More on snorting Xanax effects here.

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If you’re thinking about snorting Xanax, you can prevent serious harm by taking a few steps.

Although we don’t endorse snorting Xanax or any other drug, you should know what can happen. Here, we review what happens in the body while snorting Xanax, Xanax high effects, as well as the dangers and safety concerns of snorting Xanax. We welcome questions about snorting Xanax at the end of this article, and will try to answer all legitimate questions about Xanax use with a personal reply ASAP.

Xanax: What are you really snorting?

Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax comes in a regular and extended-release tablet and contains the benzodiazepine medication alprazolam. But Xanax also contains the inactive ingredients Cellulose, corn starch, docusate sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide and sodium benzoate, and coloring agents.

Snorting Xanax to get high

Xanax is intended to be taken orally, but some people will crush the pills and snort the powder to get high. Xanax only causes feelings of euphoria when it’s taken in larger amounts than intended, or when taken by people with no medical need for the drug. Using the drug in such way makes addiction a very possible outcome for any individual. If you’ve been abusing the medication and are now finding it difficult to stop, you may benefit from entering a Xanax addiction treatment program to overcome addiction in a safe and supervised environment.

Snorting allows larger doses to enter the bloodstream directly than taking the tablet orally – particularly in the case of the extended-release tablet. But snorting Xanax can also lead to serious adverse effects, including overdose or death.

Snorting Xanax vs oral

Although onset of action is quicker, how long Xanax in system does not really change when you snort Xanax versus oral tablets.  In fact, Xanax is not meant to be snorted. The oral doses are known to be prescribed in safe amounts with minimal side effects. Snorting Xanax can be dangerous, because it causes the drug to be absorbed in higher amounts than would normally enter the blood all at once. These doses can result in overdose, which can cause confusion, coordination problems, loss of consciousness, and even death. Even if you don’t overdose on Xanax, snorting it raises the risk of serious adverse effects.

How does snorting Xanax affect the body?

Xanax affects the body’s central nervous system. Even when taken orally, Xanax decreases abnormal excitement in the brain, helping to keep people with mood disorders calm. But when snorted, Xanax effects can be more intense and possibly cause a variety of side effects, which can include:

  • dizziness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • nausea
  • talkativeness

Snorting Xanax side effects

Taking Xanax orally often causes drowsiness and dizziness. Severe side effects of Xanax are rarer, but may occur more often when the medication is not taken as prescribed. Therefore, the possible serious side effects of snoring Xanax can include:

  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • memory problems
  • seizures
  • suicidal thoughts
  • shortness of breath

Snorting Xanax dangers

Snorting Xanax can have serious risks. For one, Xanax impairs coordination and judgment, putting you at greater risk of auto or industrial accidents. Inhaling Xanax powder through your nose can also damage your nasal passages. But snorting Xanax can also spread diseases, especially infections. How? Overuse and shared straws or snorting instruments. Even more, because of the large doses delivered when you snort Xanax, your risk of addiction and dependence is higher. Finally, overdose and death are also much more likely when the medication is taken in this way.

Snorting Xanax safely

The extended release version of Xanax should never the snorted – the medication is intended to be absorbed slowly by the body, and it’s not safe to release it all at once by crushing the pills. However, for your information, the recommended daily dosage of Xanax is only about 10 mg in one day.

Snorting Xanax questions

Are you addicted to Xanax?  Do you still have questions about taking Xanax? If so, please let us know. We respond to all real Xanax questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Alprazolam
Hazardous Substances DataBank: Alprazolam
National Drug Intelligence Center: Prescription Drugs Fast Facts
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. Thank you for this article. I’ve been snorting 5mg xanax a day for 6 weeks. I am going into treatment 10/16/18 to get off this deadly drug. I think it needs to be monitored like Opioids. Vet clinics need to ua pet owners. My vet was giving me a bottle for 100 1mg xanax and I got into it without knowing how dangerous it is. I finally told her so she won’t be giving it to me anymore. Big pharma doesn’t seem to care what drugs they make and how dangerous they are. And doctors dole it out like candy. It only gets worse. Never better unless you are honest with you doctor and ask for help.

  2. I don’t care what any of y’all say^, just snorted some And am barred out as hell. “Placebo” huh? Then why don’t I feel like I do now every day?

  3. A daily dosage of 10 mg for xanax is absolutely insane and an r extremely high amount for a single day. The max i have heard of for people with severe anxiety is 8 mg a day. I personally take four 1mg pills a day and i feel that is plenty to combat anxiety symptoms when taken properly. But whomever wrote this article and thinks that 10 mg is a recommended daily dose is a retard does not know what they are talking about. If a person that has never taken xanax took 10mg at once or even in 1 day spread out would have a good chance of overdose or be passed out asleep all day and pretty much be in a coma.

  4. I’ve been taking Xanax for 9 years now and my tolerance level is extremely high. Sometimes I will even run out of it on purpose just so I can get an amazing nights sleep when I get it refilled. My question is…if I’m on 1mg 3 times a day, would snorting 1mg only 1 time before bed help me sleep better?

  5. I am addicted/dependent on Xanax pretty bad. I use 10-14 mg a day when I can find them. I also go to a suboxone office. Is there any advice to help me get off of these, for its starting to ruin my life and my relationship with my wife. I agree I do need them for my ptsd, dysthymia, OCD, and severe panic and anxiety shut downs, but I’ve gotten my dose so high, I’m scared and need a way to come down, fore when I don’t have any for 3 days I start to have seizures. Any suggestions are appreciated. Be blessed, and thank you.

    1. Hi Bill. First, I suggest that you speak with a doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Then, you may look into the Ashton Manual (a manual that can help you with dealing benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal):
      Moreover, you may call the helpline on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best rehab for you.

  6. Does a person that used 2 sniff atleast 2mg of a 2mg Xanax Bar every single day start throwing up Puking everyday after not snorting them anymore out of the blue?? Please tell me what you can or wut yal know cuz it’s getting rediculous n Please b Honest cuz I gotta stop Puking everyday dam near all day, n if I can actually stop doing this just by starting 2 sniff them again then sadly 2 say I’m all in, cuz this puking shits Absolutly Rediculous by far! N Please dnt judge me of wut I said about goin back 2 sniffing it again! Cuz I’m serious if it’ll Truely Help me 2 stop throwing up everyday all day!!! Please n Thank U!!! Sincerely, D

  7. I’ve been on Xanax for 31yrs.i had no ideal why I feel like this.i take them orally my doctor cut me.i feel AWFUL I’m begging for help can I stop cold turkey and drink a little bit to take the edge off.OMG I need help.i have every side effect ty

  8. Can you explain to me xanax? Like how much is normally tookin for a beginner? I’m not prescribed it but I do get an anxiety often and was curious about trying it. Don’t want to be some kind junky and OD or get addicted and something crazy like that. Info will be very much appreciated.

  9. i have been taking Xanax by mouth for over 20 years. and of course i have a big time tolerance to it. I seen someone the other day snort 1 mg tablet. so my question is, if u snort it, are you ganna get better relief from it than taking it orally .

  10. Hi. I have a friend that snorts Xanax. I am concerned for him. He truly requires the medication, but I think the snort gives him a better high. What are my options? I know he has bounced around to different doctors because his blood/urine tests weren’t appropriate. What are my options?



  11. Dear Xanax experts,
    If I where to snort a time release xanax. Should I take the coding on the pill off before I crush it an snore it.

  12. My daughter was recently arrested for driving while taking Xanax. She first was giving it in her tea at dinner without knowing and later that night she willingly snorted more. The next morning got in a wreak and arrested. She is 18 and I feel scared for her life. When I picked her up from jail later that night she was still messed up, after being in jail for 8 hours. I am looking for advice on what her dad and I should do next.

    1. Hi, Jodie. That’s a lot! Not only for you and your husband, but also for your daughter. You may look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help: If still need help, feel free to contact us.

  13. Patients,
    Snorting Xanax is not advisable in the long term, but on an infrequent basis, you will be fine.
    My preferred combination is 3 1mg of Xanax snorted, 4 dexys, 6 Codeine tablets, 7 beers, and some fish scale blow.
    Don’t do it often, just now and then.
    Life will be SWEET!!

  14. My son , who was just released 5 weeks ago from jail,after being there for 2 years for heroin addiction, has been into my Xanax,I am missing 10 pills in 2 days and there is evidence of him snorting these. I hide my meds, but he finds them somehow. What can I do? My pills are 1mg.

  15. My friend snorted some xanax for a couple nights in a row and completely regrets it. The high was not worth the pain that my friend is now in. It has been 48 hours since my friends last time snorting… The problem is that a very painful sinus infection has developed over the last 2 days and it only seems to be getting worse.. What should my friend do? Did the xanax cause this? (seeing the doctor is not a possibility)

    1. Hi Jacob. I believe that his infection still needs to be treated medically. See if a pharmacist at your local pharmacy can suggest a medication that will be able to treat his condition. If the symptoms persist, however, he will have to go to the doctor’s.

  16. i snorted .25mg xanax so that would be a quarter of a 1mg its a little dose and i got a realy bad headache i snorted at 12am and and its 5am and i still have the headache its kinda like a migraine but i never snorted xanax before has anyone hd this or knows about this i just need help a reply would be thankful

  17. This is false. Snorting Xanax rarely works. It is not hydrophilic and cannot dissolve in the mucus membranes in the nostril unlike a soluble molecule like cocaine. If you snort enough you can feel effects, but only about 20-30% of the amount will be used. You are far more likely to overdose swallowing pills

  18. Is snorting a waste compared to popping different answers everywhere just wondering if snorting xanax is a waste and how much of a waste if so

  19. Hello Matt. Find a place to keep your meds out of your wife’s reach. You can research the internet and print out materials that explain the risks of taking Xanax while pregnant, that might keep her away.

  20. Hi Joe. No, it’s not a normal thing to put your organism through. Even if it is a common thing with mixing Xanax and alcohol, you are causing more damage than you have bargained for. If you black out for 3 days, it’s not normal to your organism.

  21. Hi I have been in a real low place in life but I got sum xanax bars and o crushed a lot of them in a drink alchole nd drank it all and I blacked out for 3 days is that normal

  22. Hi I’m very concerned about my wife whom is 5 months pregnant and I just realized she got into my 1mg. xanax and she took 10 in the course of 2-3 hours I’ve explained the risk to the baby and her but she continues to try and get into my meds what can I do I’m very worried thanks

  23. Hello Ivette. I’d suggest that you do some research into getting psychological help via TALK THERAPY for anxiety. Anxiety is often the product of patterns of thinking, which can be changed via behavioral interventions. You can find a therapist near you by going to the American Psychological Association’s therapist finder tool.

  24. My ex boyfriend just told me he’s been on xanax since the beginning of the year and has increased these past couple months and wants to stop but he feels antsy and anxious and moody and I’m not sure what I can do to help him nobody knows about his problem but his twin brother who says he’s gunna help him but I’m still concerned is there anything you can recommend I can do I care about him so much and I want to reach out to his family but I’m scared that he’s gunna resent me for it I don’t know what to do :'(

  25. have your sister put in a hospital before she hurts herself or someone might sound mean but it will help her in the lon

  26. My daughter is an addict. She is also bi-polar. has been seeing a mental health professional.
    She is taking klonopin, prozac,servella, limictal,nurenton, suboxin, & recently starting snorting xanax…. Has severe emotional problems… Sometimes she mixes this with alcohol, & becomes
    extremly violent.. All her doctors are aware of the situation. I don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions…

  27. Hi Suzanne. I’d suggest that you call Narc-Anon and ask for help. Additionally, seek advice from a licensed psychologist who specializes in family addiction cases. There are protocols for dealing with family members who are addicted. For example, don’t give money. Schedule a sit down talk when he is NOT inebriated. And get professional help to plan an intervention. You are in my thoughts.

  28. Hi. Recently, my brother has been drinking frequently and well beyond his “limits”. He is 21 years of age, and I found him last night snorting xanax in the basement while drunk. I’m not sure what to do…he’s already gone to a lot of therapy in the past and I’m afraid he might be going back to his old ways if he’s not already there. Where do I go from here? How do I approach him about this? Anytime I try to help him he lashes out and tries to get me to mind my own business.

  29. Hi Sharon. Great question.

    First, you can explain the physiological differences between snorting and oral ingestion and how Xanax is metabolized. It’s a physical thing. Snorting affects onset, but it damages the body. And Xanax, when taken orally, is effective and lasts longer.

    Second, you can talk openly about why he’s snorting. Often, drug use occurs because of some emotional or psychological issues happening in life. It’s a cry for help. If your son’s friend can trust and open up to you, there may be issues that come to light. You can then refer him to a psychologist who deals with teens/adolescents.

    Does that help?

  30. I recently found out that my son’s friend has been snorting 1mg tabs of xanax a couple times a day. I know snorting it isn’t good and I want to talk to him about this because all of my son’s friends look to me as there other mother. I was shocked and just didn’t know what to say. I have asked other people what I should say but didn’t tell them who the person is that is doing this. They all told me irrational things because they are so against any drugs being used for anything. What do you suggest? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you,

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