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How Dangerous Is Snorting Adderall?


Adderall pill in a hand

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication that is made up of two substances: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adderall for use in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 1996. Adderall is also classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is defined as a drug “with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” Many teens have an erroneous notion that prescription medications are safer to abuse than other drugs, when in reality, they can have equally damaging results. 

Prescription drug abuse occurs when an individual takes a medication, such as Adderall, other than the way that was intended by the prescribing doctor. Examples of abuse could include a young person that uses Adderall more frequently than prescribed by the medical professional, taking an increased dose of Adderall, taking Adderall when it was not prescribed at all, and/ or ingesting Adderall in a way other than the way it was prescribed (e.g., crushing and snorting a pill, instead of swallowing it). When used exactly as directed, Adderall can effectively help individuals manage symptoms of ADHD, but when abused, Adderall can lead to a plethora of adverse effects.

Signs of Abuse

There are certain signs that a teen may exhibit that could be indicative of snorting Adderall. These can include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • Sleep problems
  • Nose bleeds
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability 

When taken in ways other than prescribed (e.g., snorting the medication) Adderall can lead to severe physiological effects.

Side Effects

In addition to the above examples, there are also several side effects that could manifest as a result of misusing Adderall which include the following examples, provided by Medical News Today

  • Dizziness
  • Anger
  • Poor nutrition
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach aches
  • Manic symptoms
  • Dry Mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Intense mood swings
  • Severe headaches
  • Stunted growth
  • Psychosis 
  • Seizures 
  • Overdose

Snorting Adderall can cause extensive damage to one’s nasal mucous membranes. This method of ingestion can also lead to the development of effects similar to snorting cocaine, such as: 

  • Recurring nose bleeds
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Impaired sense of smell
  • Nasal crusting
  • Chronic sinusitis and/ or sinus infections
  • Nasal septum damage

Snorting Adderall delivers the medication to the brain more quickly than oral administration, which can increase one’s risk of overdose. 

For Information and Support

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Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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