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Snorting Adderall: Is It Better to Snort or Take It Orally? IR vs. XR?

These days with kids trying everything for a “high” the world has come to snorting Adderall (d-amphetamine) instead of just taking it like a normal person would with a glass of water. Adderall is a psychostimulant medication that has been utilized to treat attention-deficit disorder and is considered one of the safer drugs on the market because it has been around for a long time. Although many people snort this medication to get a desired effect, if you look at how the drug works, it tends to have a significantly better effect when taken orally than via the nasal pathways.

Effects of Snorting Adderall

  • Alertness: Snorting can result in an increased sense of alertness… then again, so can taking it orally.
  • Burning nose: Your nose may feel as though it is burning if you snort the drug. This is because it’s obviously not how the drug was intended to be used.
  • Euphoria: Some people claim that snorting Adderall can result in similar effects to cocaine.
  • Headaches: Many people who snort drugs claim that they end up with headaches.
  • High: Some people claim that it gets them “high.” This is not what the drug was intended for, but some people don’t care.
  • Lose the substance: You have a better chance at losing the drug because when you snort it, not all of the drug will enter the nasal passage. Most people end up with powder all over their countertops and aren’t able to effectively utilize it.
  • Lower dose: If you snort the drug, the amount that actually is delivered to your bloodstream will be lower than if you take it orally. The drug may also get lost in the nasal canal and you may be unable to retrieve it.
  • Quicker effect: Some would argue that the effect of snorting the drug is quicker when snorted. However, this is up for debate as oral ingestion typically has an immediate effect.
  • Shorter-lasting: The effect will generally be shorter-lasting than if taken orally.

Is it better to snort Adderall or take it orally?

Most people don’t notice much of a difference in overall effect when snorting Adderall vs. taking it orally. If anything, people tend to find that taking it orally has a better effect than snorting – and logically this makes perfect sense. The drug was intended to be taken orally, so why snort it? Although many people claim that snorting this drug will give them a better effect, they are likely experiencing nothing more than a placebo effect in regards to increased efficacy.

Oral administration of Adderall is what has been widely regarded as being most effective. The drug travels through the bloodstream and has a direct effect on the central nervous system. Not only does taking Adderall orally likely have a longer lasting effect, more of the drug will actually get used – as opposed to being caught in the nasal cavity. Additionally, you won’t have the burning nose or headaches that often accompany individuals who snort it. Although experiences when taking drugs are subjective, the logic would suggest that oral ingestion is the superior method of administration.

Snorting Adderall IR vs. XR: Why do people do it?

Since Adderall comes in multiple forms, you will either get the IR (immediate-release) version or the XR (extended release version). The extended release version comes in capsules filled with little beads that must dissolve or break-down in order to release the d-amphetamine gradually over a period of time. If these little balls are not broken up and you snort them, it is likely that you will experience no effect at all – the d-amphetamine is inside the balls.

The immediate-release come as a hard pill that does not contain little beads. When most people snort Adderall, they choose to use the immediate-release version because all they have to do is grind up the pill. For the extended release version, they have to remove the capsule and chop up the tiny little beads. This can result in loss of the beads and or be pretty difficult to conduct.

So why do people waste time snorting Adderall instead of just swallowing it orally like the doctor prescribed? Some people just like being edgy and/or trying to be cool. Others like the immediate effect that they claim it has on them when snorting. Although snorting may pack an initial punch, it’s generally considered much less effective than taking Adderall orally and is certainly not advised by professionals.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • S. May 18, 2014, 1:53 pm

    It is worth noting that an undesired consequence of “snorting” any medication is the nasal drip, which will make any unsuspecting user gag and possibly vomit.

    • Q October 17, 2015, 11:19 pm

      The nasal drip is the best part.

      • w December 8, 2015, 10:19 pm

        This guy gets it^

  • T. December 2, 2014, 1:58 pm

    I’m not sure about Adderall but in terms of Amphetamine Sulfate (street speed) which is essentially Adderall with impurities and usually comes in paste form; (acetone wash recommended to purify substance) insufflating it produces a much more overwhelming and effective high. Since it’s absorbed through the nasal membranes, it’s onset is quicker and more of the drug is used as it isn’t first-pass metabolized by the liver on the way to the CNS.

    What’s with all these judgmental statements regarding snorting, in comparison to oral ingestion you’re still doing the same drug. It should also be noted that oral ingestion does not create an immediate effect and snorting Adderall (as in the brand name drug and not just amphetamines) would also have you snorting the binders holding the pill together, which is definitely bad for your nose.

    It appears that this article is condemning the various alternative routes of administration for drugs which is utter poppycock. Look at IV Opiate users compared to those going around popping Oxys, ask them if their needle-point rush is just a placebo. I’m sure they’d love to bet their lives on it. Stay educated, stay safe, stay tolerant.

  • tacerann April 23, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I’m 30 years old and I’ve been taking lots of pills over the years… I’ve seriously eaten and snorted handfuls and handfuls of Adderall I’ve also shot it up. Shooting it up has the best experience you get 100% of the pill injected into your bloodstream snorting it doesn’t work as well because you lose a lot of the substance in your nasal cavities, but it is a lot better than taking it orally.

    • joe shmoe June 8, 2016, 11:57 pm

      Precisely. Clearly the author of this article probably has never snorted or ingested adderall and performed a proper comparison because of this. Anyone who has snorted adderall will tell you the effect is much stronger albeit it lasts less time. If you want to be an efficient snorter, do small amounts of XR at a time (less filler in XR than IR) and give short breaks between snorts to allow any filler to dissolve and leave the nasal cavity.

  • cutie pie July 28, 2016, 1:18 am

    I have been taking variations of adderall since elementary school and now I starting my last year in college. I started out taking it orally but when i got to college I heard about snorting it and decided to give it a try. I know this is going to sound silly but after snorting it for a few years does the medication start reacting differently when taken orally again?

    I started taking it orally again and I have noticed that I’m not concentrating at all during the day. I have double checked that all the pills are full, look exactly the same, and are the same mg so I’m just curious if this happens.

    • Rtu October 5, 2016, 8:01 pm

      Yes, I also have noticed that I don’t get as much focus on my addys as I used to. Perhaps it may be due to lack of sleep, me getting older or my pain meds? I wish I knew what it was!! Have you had any other responses??

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