Drugs Q & A

Can You Snort Xanax?

Snorting is one of the many means of using both recreational and prescription drugs. The drug is typically ground up into a powder by chopping it finely with a razor blade on a hard surface. It may then be divided into “lines,” and a straw or rolled paper may be used to inhale the drug up into the nasal passages. For some drugs, snorting is the preferred method for misuse, but the short- and long-term effects can lead to significant damage.

People often snort because they achieve a faster onset of desired effects when compared to other methods of delivery, other than smoking, which is faster than snorting. When snorted, the drug is absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream through the soft tissues in the nasal cavities. Depending on the individual and the drug being used, it can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes for the drug to be absorbed and start producing effects when taken this way. Snorting may also amplify the effects of the drug, as is often the case with extended-release prescription medication.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for Pfizer’s brand of Alprazolam, a short-acting tranquilizer of the triazolobenzodiazepine class, which are benzodiazepines fused with a triazole ring. Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation headquartered in Manhattan, New York City.

Xanax works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in October 1981. Benzodiazepines act on the brain and central nervous system (CNS) to produce a calming effect. Xanax is a federal controlled substance (C-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Xanax may harm others, and is against the law. Tell your healthcare provider if you have abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.

What does Xanax do?

Xanax slows down the movement of brain chemicals that may have become unbalanced, resulting in a reduction in nervous tension and anxiety. Xanax works by boosting the effects of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is made in the brain.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders and anxiety caused by depression. Xanax is also used to treat panic disorders with or without a fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment (agoraphobia).

Can You Snort Xanax?

No, you should never snort Xanax or any prescription medication. Drugs like Xanax are formulated to be taken in a particular manner, often ingested orally, and to be released slowly. When taken properly, the medication is broken down in the stomach before it is absorbed into the bloodstream over time. By snorting, the full effect of the drug is released almost immediately, which can have serious consequences.

Snorting Xanax can also have detrimental effects on your health. For people who repeatedly snort Xanax, the cumulative irritation of the external nares (nostrils), nasal passages and sinus structures can lead to a number of adverse events, such as:

  • Perforation of the nasal septum.
  • Irritation of the nasal mucosa.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Nose bleeds.
  • Loss of sense of smell.
  • Problems swallowing.
  • Hoarseness.

This process produces an amplified high but also increases the risk of negative consequences and overdose.

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