Fatal Seizures snorting adderall

Fatal Seizures Possible if you Snort Adderall

Table of Contents

What Is Adderall?

Fatal Seizures are possible if you snort Adderall, but what exactly is Adderall? Adderall is a psychostimulant that is designed to impact and alter the central nervous system. Its two main chemicals, dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, work to elevate certain levels of brain chemicals, such as dopamine.1

What is Adderall Used to Treat? 

There are two main disorders that Adderall is typically prescribed to treat. The first is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD. With ADHD, Adderall helps elevate dopamine, which increases someone’s ability to focus while also balancing other symptoms that could cause discomfort or difficulty in day-to-day life.

Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy. While the substance can increase dopamine, it can also correct hypocretin deficiencies, which regulate sleep cycles.

The Effects of Adderall on People Without ADD or ADHD

For those without ADHD, there is no dopamine deficiency. This fact means that when Adderall is administered into the body, the natural dopamine levels are elevated, which can promote feelings of euphoria and wakefulness.

Adderall Abuse in Students

While anyone can develop an Adderall addiction, this specific substance use disorder is most common in high school and college students. Studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse have shown that Adderall is the most popular drug on college campuses, with over 11% of students have used it without a prescription in 2018.2

Adderall abuse is most prevalent in student populations due to its ability to make someone focus longer with less sleep. This effect allows students to study longer, which is why Adderall is often referred to as the study drug. However, it is still a misuse of the drug, and this abuse can result in a variety of side effects.

What Happens When You Snort Adderall?

When you snort Adderall, the chemicals responsible for altering brain chemistry are immediately introduced to the central nervous system through nasal membranes. Snorting Adderall increases the rate at which desired effects are felt, but it can also increase the severity of harmful side effects. Snorting this drug also increases the risk for more severe side effects, including fatal seizures, strokes, and even death.

Side Effects of Snorting Adderall

Snorting Adderall can introduce different, severe side effects, including nasal damage. These symptoms are like those experienced with other abused substances, such as cocaine. Other side effects from Adderall snorting include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular sleep schedule
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

Snorting Adderall vs Taking It Orally 

When Adderall is taken orally, which is how it is prescribed to be taken by professionals, it must break down and be released into the bloodstream. From there, it is distributed around the body in a controlled manner, allowing for proper absorption and elimination.

However, Adderall snorting immediately introduces the drug to the central nervous system. It can act as a catalyst for effects but can also increase the severity of side effects and the risk of overdose.

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Adderall abuse can lead to addiction, especially with frequent or high doses. Some of the most common signs of Adderall abuse, specifically snorting Adderall, include:

A sense of grandiosity

Fear of being unable to access more Adderall

Doctor shopping



Dry mouth

Signs That Someone Is Snorting Adderall 

The signs of someone snorting Adderall are similar to all forms of administration. However, there are a few symptoms unique to nasal administration, including:

Chronic nasal congestion

Frequent nose bleeds

Impaired sense of smell

Visible nasal irritation

How Long Do Adderall’s Effects Last? 

How long the effects of Adderall last will vary between individuals as well as depend on a variety of factors. However, once the substance has been eliminated through the body by its metabolism, the effects will end.

As a result, how long Adderall lasts correlates to how long it stays within the system. Snorting Adderall increases the onset of effects, making them appear to last longer.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System? 

Adderall is designed to stay in the body no more than twenty-four hours, depending on whether it is immediate or slow release. Other factors that affect how long it lasts are:


Bodyweight and fat composition


Sex assigned at birth

Adderall Overdose

An Adderall overdose can occur anytime a dose is administered that is too large for the body to process. An Adderall overdose can cause a variety of concerns, including death. As a result, an overdose is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.


Due to Adderall’s effects on the central nervous system, the brain is one of the most impacted areas during an overdose.3 Overdose can cause a variety of changes in brain function, producing effects such as psychosis, hallucinations, seizures, strokes, and coma.

Blood Pressure   

As a stimulant, Adderall increases blood pressure. However, in the case of an overdose, the levels of elevation can be dangerous and cause cardiovascular damage.

Respiration Rates

Because Adderall impacts and elevates blood pressure, it also affects respiration rates. When a toxic amount of Adderall is consumed, whether orally or through snorting the substance, it can make it more difficult for someone to breathe and correctly oxygenate the blood. This difficulty can put a large strain on the cardiovascular system and lead to heart failure.4


Due to the above impacts of an Adderall overdose, seizures have a high potential for occurring. Seizures, especially if untreated or undergone alone, have a high risk for causing permanent damage, especially within the central nervous system, and they may cause brain damage.

Getting Help for Adderall Addiction

Although an Adderall addiction can cause strain in someone’s physical and mental health as well as their personal relationships, treatment is always an option. There are many forms of treatment available, from therapy to in-patient programs, but they all begin with detox from Adderall.

Adderall Detox & Adderall Withdrawal

In the case of Adderall abuse and Adderall addiction, the first step in recovery is medical detoxification, known commonly as detox. Detoxing allows the body to heal and fully metabolize and remove any traces of the substance.

However, a detox can also lead to Adderall withdrawal symptoms as the body adapts to lowering chemicals in the brain. Signs and symptoms of Adderall withdrawal can include:5

  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Difficulty concentrating

If you or someone you know are struggling with Adderall addiction, seek professional help. Treatment centers such as Arrow Passage Recovery can help you regain control of your life.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3666194/#:~:text=Currently%2C%20the%20only%20use%20of,(Adderall%20XR%C2%AE%2C%20generic)
  2. https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/prescription/adderall-abuse-on-college-campuses
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470276/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690554/
  5. https://www.verywellmind.com/adderall-withdrawal-symptoms-timeline-and-treatment-4177486

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