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Snorting Xanax: Short And Long-Term Effects

Snorting Xanax is a form of drug abuse that causes the effects of Xanax to go to the brain more quickly than swallowing the drug in pill form. But as a benzodiazepine, the short- and long-term effects of snorting alprazolam can do harm to your physical and mental health.

Xanax is a prescription drug that medical professionals prescribe for patients who have mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or panic issues.

Xanax, or alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine drug and, like other benzos, works quickly to suppress the central nervous system to minimize the symptoms of anxiety or panic.

It does this by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a natural counteractant to anxiety. Because of this, however, alprazolam is highly addictive.

People who develop a Xanax addiction will sometimes find other ways to take higher doses of the prescription medication, including snorting it. But snorting Xanax comes with side effects.

Why Do People Snort Xanax?

People take the drug in these alternate ways in order to feel the effects of Xanax use more quickly and more potently.

Of these alternate methods, snorting is often preferred, probably because it is the easiest to do. One has only to crush the pills thoroughly and inhale them through your nose.

Short-Term Effects Of Snorting Xanax

The short-term effects of snorting alprazolam are similar to taking the pills, but more intensified.

This is in part because absorption through the nasal passages offers a faster route to the brain, and in part because the dosage with snorting is usually higher than the prescribed dose.

These short-term effects of Xanax use can include:

  • poor coordination
  • loss of balance
  • blurred vision
  • slurred speech

You may also experience respiratory depression and an elevated heart rate.

Long-Term Effects Of Snorting Xanax

Snorting Xanax can result in several damaging long-term effects, not the least of which is a life-threatening Xanax overdose.

The effects of snorting Xanax can possibly hit the individual harder and quicker than swallowing the pill, increasing the risk of overdose symptoms like profound drowsiness.

Nasal Passage Damage

Over time, snorting Xanax causes damage to your nasal passages.

Other dangers of snorting Xanax can include:

  • higher risk of sinus infections
  • irritated nasal cavity
  • inability to smell


Xanax addiction can have many dangers, some of which compound if you withdraw suddenly from the drug.

A sudden cessation of snorting Xanax can lead to a period of psychosis in which you are not aware of the reality of your surroundings or even yourself.


Xanax is meant to treat the symptoms of depression, but if you abuse alprazolam by snorting it, you can actually instigate a deeper depression through what is known as a rebound effect.

Depression symptoms caused by Xanax can be worse than prior to taking the drug.

This rebound effect can also cause other symptoms of mental illness to increase, such as:

  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • agitation

Physical Dependence

Finally, snorting Xanax can lead to a physical dependence on the drug. This dependence can result in Xanax withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and uncontrollable shaking.

Is Snorting Xanax More Dangerous Than Other Abuse Methods?

Snorting Xanax is not the most dangerous of the alternative methods of abusing the drug. The other two methods have further severe risks.

Smoking Xanax can result in infections in the lungs due to small particles of the drug becoming lodged there.

Injecting Xanax carries probably the most dangers. Xanax is not water-soluble, so it is very difficult to dissolve.

Sometimes people will resort to mixing Xanax with alcohol or other solutions, but even then, small particles of alprazolam can get lodged in your veins causing micro embolisms.

Addiction Treatment Programs For Xanax Abuse

Addiction treatment is available and recovery from Xanax abuse is achievable.

A professional treatment center will be able to provide the following treatment options:

  • medical detox
  • management of withdrawal symptoms
  • outpatient and inpatient treatment
  • evidence-based therapy models, including cognitive behavioral therapy
  • support groups

Find Drug And Alcohol Treatment Services At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you are facing a benzodiazepine drug addiction, we at Bedrock Recovery Center understand what you are going through.

Located on the east coast, we have years of experience as treatment providers for benzodiazepine substance use disorder, and we want to help you.

If you or your loved one are battling Xanax abuse, call our helpline. Get started on your recovery plan today.

Written by
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team

©2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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