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Snorting Adderall: Side Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms, & Treatment Options for Addiction

Medically Reviewed
Last Medically Reviewed on: June 27, 2022
Adderall pills

Written by

Kevin Lang

Updated on

24 Jun, 2022

One of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is Adderall. Knowing how often it is prescribed, it is no wonder this drug is abused so often. Since it is an amphetamine, it has a very high potential for abuse, but with the general ease of availability, it can become incredibly addictive.

It is also used in a large recreational capacity by users taking it as a focus aid or “study drug,” particularly in college-level situations involving finals. The enhanced attention, energy, and wakefulness are reported to help the users perform better in an academic setting. Some of those abusing Adderall also begin using it as a diet drug since appetite suppression is one of its side effects.

While it may only be available through a legitimate prescription, its addictive nature leads to a high abuse rate, even in legitimate or authorized users. Many users begin taking it as a source of some extra energy, but they begin to rely on it too often, leading to a strong dependence. This dependence can also quickly become a potential overdose, especially among new users or users unfamiliar with dosages.

Side Effects of Snorting Adderall

The tablet form that Adderall comes in is often crushed into powder by the users and then insufflated, or snorted, for a much faster effect. The rapid onset of the “high” is often one of the main reasons users begin taking it in this fashion.

Some forms of Adderall have a time-release formulation to allow a steadier long-lasting dose for some patients. These formulations, such as Adderall XR, are crushed and snorted to completely bypass the extended-release feature, sending the full strength of the drug into the user’s system. This can be incredibly dangerous for users unfamiliar with the drug’s effects or who may not be tolerant of such a dose.

In cases like this, snorting Adderall can lead to the brain being completely overwhelmed by the amount of Adderall that has been introduced into the body. This can lead to the liver’s inability to break down or metabolize the drug fast enough to prevent damage to the body. Sudden overdoses can lead to elevated or racing heart rate, severe and sudden confusion, fever, psychosis, and seizures. Without immediate medical intervention in cases like this, the result can be a heart attack, stroke, and even death.

Additional problems can arise from snorting Adderall, which is not directly linked to the possibility of overdose or the sudden speed and onset of the drug’s effects. These can include trouble sleeping or restlessness, nervousness, diminished appetite, sudden unexpected weight loss, irritability, aggression, and hostility.

Some users may find that when they snort Adderall, they experience symptoms such as dry mouth, headache, tremors, fatigue, dizziness, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, changes in sex drive and sexual function, and fever. Others abusing the substance reported symptoms like racing heart rate, hypertension, hyperventilation, blurred vision, itchiness and rash, numbness in the extremities, and panic. Some users hallucinate, become delirious and paranoid, and even cause brain damage to the learning and memory centers.

In addition to all of this, Adderall boosts the levels of vital neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. These are several of your brain’s most potent “feel good” chemicals and help reinforce the behavior of addiction and abuse with a reward system. By abusing Adderall, the user can begin to burn out the parts of the brain that produce these chemicals and their receptors. This then makes taking the drug the only thing that can help correct the imbalance, leading to a never-ending cycle of abuse and addiction.

Withdrawal Symptoms From Snorting Adderall

When someone addicted to snorting Adderall tries to break a dependency on it, several symptoms may be encountered during the withdrawal and detox process. The drug’s dependency heightens the user’s mood, so cessation will likely cause significant irritability, general depression, mood swings, and decreased libido.

Since Adderall is a member of the amphetamine family of drugs, when a user stops taking it or is weaned off, they may experience a high level of lethargy, fatigue, and general malaise. This can lead to them not enjoying various activities they used to find significant pleasure in.

Other, more serious withdrawal symptoms include increased difficulties concentrating or focusing, trouble thinking clearly, increasingly frequent memory issues, muscle tremors, and anxiety. In many cases, users can project what symptoms they may experience during withdrawal. Most users experience symptoms are often a direct opposite of the feelings they experience as the high.

Treatment Options for an Addiction to Snorting Adderall

If you or someone you love may be addicted to snorting Adderall, it can feel like there is no way out of the cycle and that it’s a hopeless fight. The most important thing for an addict to understand is that they are not alone and that help is available if they want it.

Some premier inpatient and outpatient treatment centers help the patient recover in the most healthy way. By leveraging professional medical help, along with potential medication and behavioral therapy, there has never been more hope for long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Adderall, help must be sought immediately before the side effects are severe or even fatal. Reach out today to a premier inpatient/intensive outpatient rehab center that can be the support and encouragement you need to break the dangerous cycle of addiction right now.


Infinite Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial guidelines and medical review policy.

  1. WebMD. Adderall Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD. Accessed June 27, 2022.

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