Snorting Meth | The Dangers Of Meth Insufflation

Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

on December 9, 2022

Snorting meth is associated with negative side effects and dangers, including moderate problems like nosebleeds and fever as well as an increased risk of serious problems like cardiovascular issues, overdose, and addiction.

Methamphetamine (also known as meth or crystal meth) is a very addictive stimulant drug that is used in a number of different ways including snorting

Meth works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the reward areas of the brain and central nervous system, which is what causes the high many people are looking for when they use the drug.

Unfortunately, snorting methamphetamine comes with a wide array of side effects and dangers like overdose, dependence, and drug addiction.

Side Effects Of Snorting Meth

Snorting meth can create a wide-range of side effects. Some only last for a short period of time while others are long-term. 

The most common short-term effects of meth abuse can include:

  • elevated heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • elevated body temperature
  • erratic behavior
  • sinus infections
  • nose bleeds
  • weight loss
  • faster breathing
  • sleep problems

The most common long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse may include:

  • brain damage
  • organ damage
  • heart issues
  • perforation in the nasal cavity
  • severe oral health problems
  • intense cravings

Dangers Of Snorting Meth

Besides the side effects of snorting meth, you may also increase your risk of certain dangers when you use the drug this way. 

Meth Overdose

When meth is snorted, it goes directly to the bloodstream and then the brain. This causes a high relatively quickly (in 3-5 minutes).

Unfortunately, it can also increase your risk of a meth overdose. With meth use, it’s very difficult to know the strength of what you’re using, and snorting it sends the whole dose right to the brain with nothing in the way to break it down. 

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the number of overdose deaths related to drugs like meth has increased every year since 2015.

Some of the signs and symptoms of a meth overdose can include:

  • unresponsiveness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • difficulty breathing
  • very high body temperature
  • paranoia
  • seizure
  • stroke

Hepatitis C

While hepatitis C is usually contracted when drugs are injected, the risk is not completely gone when you snort meth. Since nosebleeds are a common occurrence when snorting meth and hepatitis C can be contracted via blood, there is still a possibility of being exposed to the disease.

Heart Attack

Methamphetamine use can increase your blood pressure and heart rate and that can increase the risk of cardiovascular issues like heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest. 

There is even more of a risk if you have a pre-existing heart issue, are pregnant, or are using other types of drugs. 

Meth Mouth

While you may think meth mouth is only an issue for people who eat or smoke meth, it can also be a problem for those who snort the drug too. No matter the method of use, meth can lead to dry mouth which can increase the chances of tooth decay. 

Those struggling with methamphetamine abuse are also less likely to take care of their oral hygiene and that can lead to dental issues like cavities and missing teeth.


Meth, no matter how you use it, affects how your brain works. It damages the areas that help with learning, memory, and self-regulation.

When you first start using it, these changes can come and go, but the more it’s used, the more likely it is you’ll develop psychosis. During this time, you may find it difficult to understand what’s real and what isn’t. You may experience hallucinations or paranoia.

Dependence & Addiction

Because the drug is so addictive, those who use meth tend to be unable to stop. And, the more you use it, the more likely you are to become physically dependent on the drug. When that happens, your body will likely find it difficult to function properly without the drug.

If you do try stopping use, serious withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur. Once dependence develops, meth use can morph into a full-blown substance use disorder or addiction.

Meth Addiction Treatment

There are several types of addiction treatment programs for meth abuse, including different forms of therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management. Other treatment options include medical detox, mental health counseling, and aftercare.

To find out if our inpatient treatment center is a good fit for you or a loved one, please contact us today.

  1. Iranian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology — Nasal Septum Perforation due to Methamphetamine abuse
  2. The Journal of the American Dental Association — Dental disease patterns in methamphetamine users Institute on Drug Abuse — How is methamphetamine misused?
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — How is methamphetamine misused? Institute on Drug Abuse — Methamphetamine Research Report
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Methamphetamine Research Report
  5. Ohio Department of Health — Preliminary Data Summary: Ohio Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Know the Risks of Meth

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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