Approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), methadone is a prescription drug used for alleviating pain relief and treating opioid addiction. Methadone belongs to a class of medications known as opiate (narcotic) analgesics.
Methadone is available as a tablet that should be taken at various intervals while you recover from pain or opioid use disorder.
However, methadone has the ability to be abused. It can be crushed into a powder to be snorted and even mixed with a liquid to form an intravenous injection.
Methadone is an opioid agonist which means it has a high potential for abuse. Snorting opioid drugs is a form of methadone abuse and can cause a number of concerning side effects that may lead to methadone addiction.
Effects Of Snorting Methadone
When a person snorts methadone and engages in opioid use in this manner, the side effects of the drug can worsen. This can cause the opioid drug to hit your system more quickly, allowing one to maintain or enhance the “high” they experience.
By engaging in this type of substance abuse, numerous health concerns may occur. While methadone can produce side effects on its own, these effects can be more sudden and severe when methadone is snorted.
Short-Term Side Effects
Some of the short-term side effects of snorting methadone include:
- burning sensation in the nose
- feelings of euphoria
- weight gain
- dry mouth
- sleep problems
Long-term Side Effects
Long-term side effects may consist of:
- liver damage
- nerve damage
- blood pressure fluctuations
- developing cravings for the drug
Dangers Of Snorting Methadone
In addition to the side effects mentioned, the use of methadone, especially when abusing the drug by snorting it, can cause adverse effects which may be more severe and life-threatening.
Snorting methadone can lead to intranasal damage. When snorting a harmful substance repeatedly, a person’s nose may begin to develop cavities and experience a loss of sinus tissue which may lead to an infection.
In addition to damage to the nasal cavity, you may also experience some long-term effects from snorting the drug such as:
- runny nose
- loss of smell
- difficulty swallowing
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one of the serious effects of methadone use includes difficulty breathing or shallow breathing.
This can be, in part, due to the respiratory depression that can be caused by the rapid onset of sedation from snorting an opioid.
Over time, snorting opioids can take a toll on your body’s cardiovascular system. This can lead to a heart arrhythmia, fluctuations in your heart rate, and even a heart attack.
Methadone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and should not be combined with other medications that affect the CNS. Some of these drugs include benzodiazepines, alcohol, and sedatives.
Adding CNS depressants together can increase your risk of overdose. When drugs are combined in this way, your respiratory system is affected which can lead to shallow breathing, respiratory depression, or unresponsiveness.
When a potential methadone overdose takes place, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
A person may experience fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure as well as breathing problems. Your healthcare provider may administer naloxone, a drug used to help reverse the effects of toxicity.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Another concern of snorting methadone includes withdrawal.
If a person stops taking the medication, they can experience deep cravings for the drug as well as a number of serious health problems such as:
- stomach cramps
Opioid Addiction Treatment Options
Those who seek treatment facilities for their substance use disorder may be required to undergo a supervised detox program. Monitoring by medical professionals during the detoxification process allows you to stabilize before beginning addiction treatment in earnest.
If you or a loved one are suffering from drug abuse, you can find a number of treatment programs available at Northeast Addictions Treatment Center. We offer outpatient programs, group therapy, and more to help you with your drug addiction.
To learn more about our options, please contact us today.
- Food and Drug Administration — Methadone
- National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Methadone
- National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Necrosis of the intranasal structures and soft palate as a result of heroin snorting: a case series
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Methadone
- Western Journal of Medicine — Use of Methadone