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Side Effects and Risks of Snorting Meth

Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly potent stimulant drug.[1] While this substance is available by prescription, it is not commonly used because of its high propensity for dependence and addiction. Additionally, the methamphetamine on the streets is not pure, often containing various household chemicals. 

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 0.9% (or about 2.5 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.”[2]

People commonly abuse meth because it causes a rush of euphoria and energy. However, it is also known to make people highly paranoid, anxious, and unable to sleep for days. People who abuse meth might smoke, snort, swallow, or inject the drug intravenously. While the most dangerous method of administration is injection, there are several risks associated with snorting meth. 

What are the Effects of Snorting Meth?

Meth abuse causes a rush of dopamine and norepinephrine which stimulate the central nervous system. These chemicals are responsible for regulating your mood, motivation, and feelings of pleasure or reward.

When you snort meth, the substance reaches your brain and bloodstream faster than it does if you smoke it. The effects can also be more potent.

The effects of snorting meth include:[3]

  • Increased attention and energy
  • Heightened activity and wakefulness
  • Less need for food and sleep 
  • A rush of euphoria 
  • Increased respiration
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia
  • Anxiety and paranoia 

Typically, people who abuse meth binge on it, taking multiple doses over a period of hours or days to keep their high going. If you binge on meth, you may not sleep or eat for days at a time, causing you to experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. 

The Dangers of Snorting Meth

Snorting meth is extremely dangerous as it can increase your likelihood of becoming addicted to it and make you more likely to overdose. Insufflation (snorting) can cause significant damage to your nose and sinuses while increasing your risk of contracting diseases and experiencing infections. 

Sinus Problems

First, meth is a vasoconstrictor, so it causes the narrowing of the blood vessels and reduces the blood flow to your nasal tissue.[4] This can result in chronic nosebleeds and sinus pain. 

You can also experience sinus conditions like sinusitis or rhinitis because of the irritation meth causes.[5]

Nasal Damage 

Meth is a crystalline substance that can be extremely sharp, causing internal damage to your nose and sinuses if you snort it. Over time, snorting meth can lead to long-term damage to your nose, such as perforation of your septum. Septal perforations can cause a wide array of adverse effects, including chronic nosebleeds, breathing problems, and a whistling sound when you breathe.[6]

Infections and Diseases 

Because the act of snorting meth can cause you to have tiny cuts in your nose, you are more susceptible to getting infections. Additionally, snorting methamphetamine can cause you to develop respiratory infections that require professional treatment. 

Infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis can also develop as a result of sharing supplies such as straws.[7]


Insufflation makes it difficult to determine the dose you consume, which can increase the risk of overdose. Meth overdoses can be life-threatening without emergency medical intervention.

The symptoms of a meth overdose include:[8]

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Paranoid thoughts or delusions 
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations 
  • Breathing problems 
  • Elevated body temperature 
  • Heart attack 
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Seizures 

Find Help for Meth Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one smokes, snorts, swallows, or injects meth, you could be dealing with an addiction. Meth addiction can cause an array of severe mental and physical health concerns, including heart attacks and cardiac arrest. As a result, it’s essential to seek help from a meth addiction treatment center near you. 

At Mandala Healing Center, we are committed to providing quality care and memorable experiences. Our comprehensive detox and treatment programs empower our clients to thrive in a sober lifestyle. 

To learn more about our meth rehab center in South Florida, contact Mandala Healing Center today. 


  1. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is Methamphetamine, Retrieved May 2023 From
  2. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is the Scope of Methamphetamine Use in the United States, Retrieved May 2023 From
  3. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): What are the Immediate (Short-Term) Effects of Methamphetamine Misuse, Retrieved May 2023 From
  4. National Library of Medicine: Methamphetamine Induces the Release of Endothelin, Retrieved May 2023 From
  5. World Health Organization (WHO): Noncommunicable Diseases: Allergic Rhinitis and Sinusitis, Retrieved May 2023 From
  6. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Septal Perforation, Retrieved May 2023 From
  7. Canada’s Source for HIV and Hepatitis C Information (CATIE): Safer Snorting, Retrieved May 2023 From
  8. National Library of Medicine: Methamphetamine Toxicity, Retrieved May 2023 From