The Dangers of Snorting Xanax

Taking Xanax outside of prescribed methods, such as by ingesting it, can pose an additional set of dangers and side effects.
The Dangers of Snorting Xanax

Table of Contents

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, which acts on the central nervous system to enhance the body’s natural production of gamma-Aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, thereby producing a calming effect.

What Does Xanax Treat?

When taken as prescribed, alprazolam can treat a variety of conditions such as anxiety and panic disorders. Often, Xanax is used in combination with other medications. However, it can be used alone successfully.

Drug Class and Schedule

Alprazolam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepine.1 Benzodiazepines are depressants that act as tranquilizers by raising the levels of GABA in the body.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that impacts how the brain and body relax. When levels of GABA are too low – which can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics and prolonged stress – the body has difficulty relaxing. Over time, a lack of relaxation can cause the development of different health conditions. These are treated through benzodiazepine.

Alprazolam is also considered a Schedule IV substance, which means that it has a lower risk for dependency and abuse. However, while the risk is lowered, the potential still exists, especially when misused.

Street Names

With an increase in substance use disorders, creating awareness about alprazolam is critical. One way to do this is to learn how to recognize the different names of Xanax, especially those that are common outside of a medical setting. Some street names of Xanax include:

Why Do People Crush Up and Snort Xanax?

Misuse of substances can stem from a variety of causes. However, individuals may choose to crush up and snort Xanax to accelerate the rate of absorption – although this is not necessarily true.

For many substances, especially those that impact the central nervous system, snorting allows for a quicker rate of absorption for a reduced timeframe for effects. However, this factor is only true for water-soluble substances.

Crushing and snorting Xanax does not allow for quicker rates of absorption in most instances. Any accelerated absorption that does occur from snorting Xanax is relatively insignificant. However, because this misconception continues to exist, snorting is one of the most common forms of Xanax misuse.2

What is the Standard Method for Taking Xanax?

When prescribed by a medical professional, Xanax is administered orally through a pill. The pill allows for rapid absorption into the bloodstream, with some individuals experiencing the medicinal effects within 5 to 10 minutes of administration.

However, while this method is the standard, medically advised way of administration for Xanax, misuse can occur in many different forms, including snorting the drug.

Side Effects of Xanax Abuse

Whenever a substance is taken in a way that strays from what is medically advised, there is an increased risk for side effects. For Xanax, these side effects can include:

Dangers of Snorting Xanax

Any time Xanax is used outside of prescribed methods there are new dangers presented, including an increased rate of addiction or overdose. Learning to recognize the symptoms can be extremely beneficial if you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax misuse.

Signs of Xanax Addiction

While Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV substance, prolonged exposure can lead to addiction. The body will grow accustomed to the presence of Xanax and therefore the elevated levels of GABA.

When Xanax is abused, especially through snorting or injection, the risk for addiction is elevated, as is the risk for Xanax’s side effects. Recognizing the signs of addiction is the first step in receiving treatment for a substance use disorder. The signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction include:

Signs of Xanax Overdose

An overdose is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Recognizing the early signs of an overdose can help prevent and reverse long-lasting damage. If a Xanax overdose is suspected, the signs can include:

The signs of a Xanax overdose may be delayed in some individuals. Mixing Xanax with any other substances, such as alcohol or other medications, can increase the risk of overdose, as can misuse.

Other Ways to Abuse Xanax

While snorting Xanax is one of the most common forms of misuse, it is not the only one. Other ways Xanax can be abused are thorough chewing, smoking, and injection.

Chewing Xanax

Like snorting, chewing Xanax is believed to be a way to accelerate the rate of absorption in the body to experience effects sooner. This belief is also a misconception, but abuse through chewing Xanax still occurs.

Smoking Xanax

Smoking Xanax can lead to harmful toxins coating the inside of the lungs which can impair their function. With prolonged abuse, smoking Xanax can also increase the risk for lung cancer to occur.

Shooting Xanax

An injection is one of the most dangerous forms of abuse. Since the substance is being introduced directly into the bloodstream, the rate of absorption is accelerated, which can increase the chance of severe side effects. Repeated injections can also expose the body to infections and blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

How to Recover from a Xanax Addiction

Recovering from Xanax addiction is a possible step for anyone suffering from a substance use disorder. There are various forms of treatment available, and several may be utilized to promote a successful recovery.


To recover from Xanax addiction, the first step is to go through a detox period. Detoxing allows the body to eliminate the rest of the substance from the body to begin recovery.

When a substance is administered regularly, the body can become accustomed to its presence and form a dependency, which is known as addiction. When the body becomes addicted to Xanax, it requires continued administration. When this administration ceases, it can lead the body into a period known as withdrawal.3

Withdrawal can be an uncomfortable period for the body. During this time, many different symptoms can be experienced, such as:

While withdrawal can cause discomfort, it is a significant part of detox. During this time, cravings can become stronger. However, when conducted through the guidance of a medical professional, the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be treated through pharmaceutical means to alleviate discomfort.

A detox may also be needed when ending a Xanax prescription. Tapering doses can help prevent negative consequences as a result of detoxing.

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis treats Xanax addiction by identifying any secondary health or mental issues that may be a cause of dependency.

Several factors can lead to Xanax misuse, including prolonged stress, undiagnosed mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, or other causes.4 Identifying and treating these conditions can be beneficial in preventing relapse.


Counseling and psychotherapy can be beneficial in targeting the psychology behind addiction to help in recovery. There are a variety of different therapies utilized for individuals suffering from substance use disorders, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and dialectical behavior therapy.

These therapies are dedicated to fostering understanding about the relationship between actions or behaviors and mindsets while also providing healthy coping mechanisms.

For many people suffering from substance use disorder, group therapy and anonymous support groups can also be beneficial. These groups allow individuals to connect with their peers and hear anecdotes to learn new coping mechanisms to aid in recovery.

Inpatient/Outpatient Care

For substances like Xanax, which can require tapered doses for safe detox, recovery may be best undergone with the guidance of a medical professional through an inpatient or outpatient program.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment allow for individuals suffering from a substance use disorder to seek treatment that best fits their needs while also providing aid through the different stages of withdrawal and recovery.

These can appear in the form of medications, therapies, and other guided programs.



If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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