The abuse of opiates, no matter how they are administered, poses a risk to anyone engaging in it. This is especially true when opiates are snorted. This method is popular because it allows the drug to enter the body and brain quickly, without having to go through the whole process of digestion, or even to flow through the veins to get to the brain. Yet the dangers of snorting opiates are serious and well-documented.

The dangers of snorting opiates can be found in 3 distinct areas of a user’s life: physical, mental, and social.

Physical Dangers

Snorting opiates takes a toll on your body. Below are the physical problems people experience a a direct result of snorting opiates.

  • Birth defects. A pregnant woman who snorts opiates may have a baby with birth defects such as hydrocephaly, heart defects, and spina bifida.
  • Bone pain
  • Brain damage
  • Damage to your nasal passages 
  • Damage to your trachea and esophagus
  • Diarrhea
  • Facial damage & cosmetic issues
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia. Sleeping a lot or not being able to sleep.
  • Hypoxia. A decreased flow of blood to your brain because of the drug or lung damage. This type of damage can sometimes be long lasting and can lead to death.
  • Nose bleeds
  • Overdose


Mental Dangers

Not only does snorting drugs take a toll on your body, it causes enormous trouble with your brain and mental functions. Some of the most serious examples are:

  • Anxiety. Snorting opioids results in long term anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Dependence. One of the dangers of snorting opioids is that the brain begins to depend on

it, and the user couldn’t stop without experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms.

  • Depression and feeling suicidal
  • Paranoia. Always feeling or thinking something or someone’s after you.
  • Restlessness. Feeling like you have to move all the time, twitching, restlessness.
  • Psychosis. Mental decay and losing a sense of reality.


Social Dangers

One of the worst problems associated with any drug abuse is the way they ruin relationships and social networks. Below are three social dangers.

  • Financial problems. Increasing costs for maintaining the opiate habit, losing a job because of being absent from work or being late to work.
  • Legal problems. Getting arrested, going to jail, and having legal fees because of possessing, distributing, and transporting drugs. You may also have to hire a lawyer.
  • Relationship problems. Becoming alienated from family and friends.


Some of the dangers listed here aren’t specific dangers of snorting opiates. They can apply to abusing substances in any manner, but since snorting works so fast and produces such a powerful effect, all the effects of drug use can be amplified when the user snorts. If you need help finding an addiction treatment plan that will suit your loved one, there are resources available to help. The staff at Treatment Now can answer questions and provide guidance 24/7. Just call us at