Xanax’s main ingredient is Alprazolam and belongs to a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Xanax is considered to have high abuse potential because it is highly addictive. Xanax is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder and other panic disorders.
Benzodiazepines are found in about one-third of all intentional overdoses or suicide attempts. Alprazolam is a central nervous system depressant which means it slows down brain activity. Serious side effects of Xanax are seizures, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, loss of coordination, memory impairment, and depression. When snorted, the risk for all these side effects and fatal overdose increases as well as opens the door for a person to engage in more dangerous drug use.
How Does Xanax Work?
In the human brain, there is a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is a person’s natural tranquilizer. GABA helps a person feel more relaxed or calm down when in a stressful situation. When a person is too nervous or anxious their brain releases GABA which causes a chemical to be released that makes it harder for other stimulating neurons to be triggered. Xanax works like GABA except more strongly. It blocks the nerve cells in order to allow a person to feel more calm and relaxed. Over time, a person’s GABA production reduces, making their body rely on Xanax to feel relaxed.
Can You Snort Xanax?
Can you snort Xanax? The simple answer is yes you can snort Xanax, but you shouldn’t. Xanax is prescribed in pill form and is meant to be taken only by the oral route. A recent study published in the Psychopharmacology Journal found that when you snort Xanax vs oral route, snorting 2 mg of Xanax produced rapid results in just 2 minutes after inhaling the medication. Whereas, it took 49 minutes for the participants to experience the drug effects when taking it by the oral route. This article shows the ability for Xanax to be snorted and the high abuse potential of the medication. When taking medication in any way other than prescribed, the risk of having a fatal overdose detrimentally increases.
A safer way to snort Xanax would be to get prescribed the nasal spray form of Xanax. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a medication known as Staccato Alprazolam is being assessed for the treatment of panic attacks. Alprazolam is the main ingredient in Xanax. This medication provides a single dose of alprazolam that needs to be snorted. Talk to a Intake Coordinator
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Is Xanax Water Soluble?
Is Xanax water soluble? Xanax tablets contain alprazolam which is a central nervous system depressant and belongs to a family of drugs known as benzodiazepine. Alprazolam is a white crystal powder that is soluble in methanol or ethanol. However, it is not soluble in water meaning that it doesn’t dissolve in water and therefore does not travel well through the nasal cavity.
The Dangers Of Snorting Xanax (Alprazolam)
The faster a drug reaches the brain the more likely it is to be addicting. Snorting Xanax largely influences how quickly the drug will reach the brain. Crushing a Xanax tablet will create a powder-like substance. Xanax does not travel well through the nasal cavity and pieces are likely to get stuck in the nose. Just like with snorting any drug, inhalation through the nasal cavity can cause serious reactions to the nose and can lead to abuse, addiction, dependence, and overdose.
The main ingredient in Xanax is alprazolam. However, the other big ingredient in Xanax is corn starch. Corn starch does not create any effects on the brain and can be dangerous. Snorting any form of powder is dangerous and likely to create inflammation along the nasal cavity.
The ingredients in Xanax are not meant to be snorted and can cause harm to the soft tissue lining the nose. Foreign objects in the nose that can be left behind from snorting Xanax can cause damage to the nasal cavity just like other drugs. Sniffing drugs can cause irritation and swelling of mucous membranes, sinusitis, necrosis (death of tissue resulting in nosebleeds), loss of nasal hairs, nasal crusting, loss of smell, increased risk for infections or sinus issues, nasal blockage, nasal inflammation, and is a gateway to other drugs.
According to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, using a higher dose and snorting Xanax is likely to increase a person’s risk for overdose. Symptoms of overdosing on Xanax are slurred speech, altered mental status, confusion, coordination problems, reduced respiratory function, loss of consciousness, and drowsiness.
If you or someone you love is experiencing an overdose call 911 immediately to get medical attention. Snorting Xanax is dangerous because it increases a person’s chances of experiencing an overdose and can lead to dependence on the substance. With long term use of Xanax a person’s ability to naturally produce GABA decreases which causes tolerance to develop. Tolerance is when a person needs more of the medication in order to experience the desired effects. Tolerance eventually leads to dependence on the medication. When a person is dependent on a substance it means they develop painful withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the substance. Further symptoms of dependence on Xanax include a craving for the medication and the continued need to take the substances despite the psychological, interpersonal, and physical problems. The risk of developing a dependence on Xanax is higher in people whose dosage is higher than 4 mg/day and with long term use. The risk of dependence is elevated even farther in people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
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With long term use of Xanax a person’s ability to naturally produce GABA decreases which causes tolerance to develop. Tolerance is when a person needs more of the medication in order to experience the desired effects. Tolerance eventually leads to dependence on the medication.
When a person is dependent on a substance it means they develop painful withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the substance. Further symptoms of dependence on Xanax include a craving for the medication and the continued need to take the substances despite the psychological, interpersonal, and physical problems.
The risk of developing a dependence on Xanax is higher in people whose dosage is higher than 4 mg/day and with long term use. The risk of dependence is elevated even farther in people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Xanax Withdrawal And Detox
Xanax withdrawal symptoms can include dysphoria, insomnia, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, headaches, palpitation, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, poor memory, depression, sweating, tremors, and convulsions. In people who are using the medication for anxiety or panic attacks, withdrawal symptoms can also include increased anxiety, agitation, confusion, panic attacks, and psychosis.
Attempting to stop taking Xanax abruptly can cause uncontrollable and potentially deadly convulsions. A person who is dependent on Xanax and attempting to come off needs medical support such as using other medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, the withdrawal process might need to occur in an inpatient setting. This is because the discomfort a person who has withdrawal experiences during detox can make them turn back to using the drug. Through detoxing in an inpatient setting a person will be supervised 24/7 by medical and mental health professionals to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
Treatment for Xanax Abuse and Addiction
The best way to take Xanax is the right way. Xanax comes in pill form and is meant to be orally ingested. Taking it any other way is extremely dangerous. Snorting Xanax can lead to a multitude of problems such as long-term dependence, addiction, using other drugs, and various health consequences.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a Xanax addiction a high-quality rehabilitation clinic can help. Abruptly stopping the use of Xanax or other benzodiazepines after a period of 1 to 6 months can cause life-threatening seizures so a person needs to be gradually tapered off the medication. Therefore, treatment for a Xanax addiction at a rehabilitation clinic will provide a combination of medications and behavioral therapies to help you or a loved one overcome their addiction in a safe and supportive environment.
One medication used to help ease the painful withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxing from Xanax is flumazenil. Flumazenil is a GABA receptor antagonist meaning that it can be used to help people rapidly withdraw from benzodiazepines to a lower dose or even abstinence without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. When flumazenil is combined with behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, it has been found to be even more effective during tapering off Xanax.
- A review of alprazolam use, misuse, and withdrawal. Journal of Addiction Medicine.
- Addiction: Part 1. Benzodiazepines- side effects, abuse risk, and alternatives. American Family Physician.
- Addiction Treatment Options. Sunshine Behavioral Health.
- Benzodiazepines I: Upping the care on downers: The evidence of risks, benefits and alternatives. Journal of Clinical Medicine.
- Benzodiazepine Toxicity. StatePearls.
- Drug Delivery Methods. Learn. Genetics
- Inhaled vs. oral alprazolam: Subject, behavioral and cognitive effects, and modestly increased abuse potential. Psychopharmacology (Berl).
- Management of benzodiazepine misuse and dependence. Australian Prescriber.
- Objects in the nose. Michigan Medicine.
- Staccato Alprazolam in Panic Attack. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Xanax. Food and Drug Administration.
- Xanax. RxList.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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