Can You Crush & Snort Concerta?

Concerta is an extended-release stimulant prescription drug often abused for its euphoric effects. This commonly includes abuse through crushing and snorting (insufflation) despite snorting’s high risk for side effects, sinus problems, and drug addiction.

Concerta is a brand name prescription medication made with the central nervous system stimulant methylphenidate.

As with Ritalin, another stimulant medication that contains methylphenidate as its active ingredient, Concerta is most commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Unlike Ritalin, an immediate-release drug, Concerta is formulated as an extended-release tablet taken once daily.

Crushing & Snorting Concerta

Concerta, Ritalin, and other similar stimulant drugs like Adderall (mixed amphetamines) and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) are classified as Schedule II controlled substances with a high potential for abuse and the development of dependence or addiction.

Amphetamine-class ADHD medications can be abused and tampered with to intensify their effects. This includes crushing and snorting Concerta tablets to rapidly administer the full dose of the drug through the mucosa of the sinuses.

This form of abuse is most common among adolescents and college students who often underestimate the dangers involved in Concerta abuse.

Side Effects Of Snorting Concerta

Concerta use is associated with potential side effects ranging from mild to severe adverse reactions.

Many of these effects are dose-dependent and may occur with much greater severity when Concerta is abused in higher doses or through unusual methods of administration, like snorting.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Concerta use include:

  • dizziness 
  • nausea 
  • reduced appetite and weight loss
  • irritability 
  • anxiety 
  • increased blood pressure
  • headache 
  • abdominal pain
  • dry mouth
  • and others

When Concerta is used therapeutically, these side-effects will likely improve or resolve over time as the body adapts to the medication. However, if these effects are uncomfortable or severe, let your healthcare provider know so adjustments can be made.

Serious Side Effects

Sometimes, those who take prescription stimulants have bad reactions or experience more severe side effects. However, those engaging in high dose Concerta abuse, including those who snort the drug, are at much higher risk and may experience:

  • euphoria
  • reduced inhibition and impulse control
  • seizures 
  • manic or psychotic episodes
  • sudden changes in blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, or breathing
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • convulsions
  • severe vomiting

Chronic misuse of Concerta, especially in high doses, can also lead to the development of physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, as well as drug addiction/substance use disorder.

Dangers Of Snorting Concerta

Some medications are formulated to be absorbed in the sinuses, but this is not the case for Concerta. By crushing and snorting Concerta tablets, you can do serious damage to the delicate tissues of the sinuses, eventually leading to issues that may include:

  • nose bleeds
  • chronic runny noses and nose crusting
  • trouble swallowing or clearing your throat
  • trouble speaking
  • impaired sense of smell
  • recurring sinus infections
  • irritation or erosion of the nasal septum

Concerta Overdose

When snorted in large doses, the effects of Concerta can resemble those of methamphetamine, another amphetamine-class drug. 

Those who do abuse Concerta to get high may also do so with alcohol or other drugs that can increase or mask each other’s effects, increasing the potential for an accidental overdose.

Signs and symptoms of Concerta overdose can include:

  • fluctuations in heart rate
  • rapid breathing
  • fever
  • hallucinations 
  • symptoms of psychosis
  • vomiting 
  • tremors or muscle twitching
  • convulsions 
  • stomach pain
  • hypertension 
  • loss of consciousness
  • sudden death from heart failure or stroke

Depending on the individual, the type and dosage of substances used, and medical intervention, the effects of a Concerta overdose may be life-threatening or even fatal. 

Additionally, those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions are at particularly high risk of experiencing sudden death from Concerta overdose.

Concerta Dependence & Withdrawal

When used as prescribed, the risk of a person developing severe dependence or withdrawal symptoms from Concerta use is low. However, this risk increases dramatically when Concerta is abused chronically in high doses by those who want to get high.

When this occurs, Concerta discontinuation can produce prolonged and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including: 

  • drug cravings
  • sweating
  • increased appetite
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • involuntary movements
  • vivid dreams
  • fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feelings of depression or dissatisfaction

Participation in a medical detox program is strongly recommended for those going through these symptoms after a period of substance abuse, due to additional risks of suicidal impulses or relapse.

Concerta Addiction Treatment

Too often people underestimate the short- and long-term risks that come with abusing prescription amphetamines like Concerta. Fortunately, a number of treatment options are available to help you or your loved one recover from Concerta abuse and addiction.

This includes inpatient services provided by Ohio Recovery Center, including:

Contact our team today to learn more.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2023-02/Amphetamines%202022%20Drug%20Fact%20Sheet_0.pdf
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/drugfacts_stimulantadhd_1.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682188.html

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 22, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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