What Are the Dangers of Snorting Meth?

snorting meth

Drug addiction impacts every aspect of a person’s life and requires caring, comprehensive treatment. Some drugs cause significant harm quickly as users develop an addiction to them.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that puts users at significant risk of severe short and long-term harm. The method people use to ingest the drug matters. Snorting meth (insufflation) is associated with serious immediate and long-term damage to users’ health and safety.

Understanding the dangers of snorting meth can help you make informed choices about your substance use and seek the appropriate treatment, if necessary.

Reach out to the admissions counselors at PAX Memphis today to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant drug that gives users a feeling of energy and euphoria. Its effects make it popular among people who use it recreationally at parties or clubs. It is a synthetic drug that resembles shards of broken glass. People may also call methamphetamine different names, including:

  • Crystal meth
  • Glass
  • Shards
  • Ice
  • Tina

People can make methamphetamine in home labs, making this potent, addictive drug widely available to people who want it. But it also means that the production of this drug is illegal and unregulated. There are no safety standards in place, no methods to test safety or purity, and nothing to prevent people from selling tainted or dangerous methamphetamine.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2020 among people ages 12 and older 0.9% (or about 2.6 million people) reported using meth, 0.6% (or about 1.5 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder, and approximately 23,837 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants (primarily meth).

Users generally take methamphetamine by snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug. Many users begin by snorting meth because it is the least intrusive way to take the drug. They may go on to inject or smoke meth as their addiction progresses.

What is Meth Insufflation?

Meth insufflation is another way to describe snorting or sniffing meth. Many users begin using meth by snorting the drug. After snorting meth, users experience intense euphoria as the drug causes a flood of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and reward.

One of the dangers of snorting meth is that addiction can occur in a single use due to the drug’s effects on the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. The effects of meth can be quick and intense, but the drug may remain in a user’s system for up to 12 hours.

The Side Effects of Snorting Meth

Meth insufflation and other methods of abuse can cause many physical, emotional, and behavioral side effects. Snorting meth can lead to severe manage to a person’s immediate and long-term health, especially with heavy or frequent use.

Physical side effects of snorting meth

  • Dilated pupils
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Sores
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss
  • Damage to facial structures, including sinuses, mouth, septum, and throat
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia

Psychological side effects of meth insufflation

  • Hallucinations of bugs crawling on the skin
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Memory loss
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Racing thoughts

Behavioral side effects of snorting meth

  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Isolating
  • Neglecting hygiene and other daily personal care
  • Picking at skin
  • Financial or legal trouble related to meth use

If you or a loved one use methamphetamine, you must get the support and treatment you need to overcome it. Without treatment, many people develop a devastating, sometimes life-threatening addiction to meth that can wreak havoc on their lives, families, and communities.

Without getting the help you need, you will likely face the severe dangers of snorting meth.

Understanding the Dangers of Snorting Meth

Snorting meth can severely harm a person’s health and safety. Because the drug is so addictive, getting help immediately is crucial if you use methamphetamine. Without seeking treatment, you risk developing serious complications, including addiction.

Nasal damage

One of the significant dangers of snorting meth is nasal damage. Meth production is unregulated, meaning each batch varies in quality and purity. But manufacturers sometimes add dangerous substances, including battery acid, cleaning products, and flammable substances. It is a toxic, highly corrosive drug, even without common additives.

Snorting meth corrodes the blood vessels and cartilage in users’ nasal cavities and sinuses. This damage can result in facial deformities and loss of functionality, including a deadening of their sense of smell and breathing trouble.

Meth mouth

Snorting meth can damage users’ mouths and result in a condition called “meth mouth”. The drug corrodes people’s gums and can lead to significant tooth decay and loss. The drug itself can cause lesions and other damage to the lining of a person’s mouth and lips.


Addiction is a complex, serious condition that often requires professional treatment to overcome. Addiction is a loss of control over a person’s drug use, often because of physical or emotional dependence on the drug. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance, and snorting meth can lead to addiction in a short period.

Find Treatment For Meth Abuse and Addiction Now

Overcoming meth addiction alone can feel impossible, but there is treatment available. Contact the PAX Memphis specialists to learn more about the dangers of snorting meth or to learn more about starting a substance abuse treatment program in Tennessee.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.