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Dangers of Snorting Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet and Other Painkillers

How Dangerous is Snorting Painkillers?

Many people think that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs because they are legal and they come from a doctor. But they can cause incredibly serious side effects, especially when they are abused, and snorting painkillers can be very damaging to your health and may cause fatal overdose.

Snorting painkillers is considered a form of prescription drug abuse. In other words, you’re using the prescription drug in a way it wasn’t meant to be used.


In 2014, nearly 1.6% of the U.S. population, ages 12 and older, used prescription painkillers without a prescription,1 and there’s a good chance that many of these users snorted the drugs at some point.

The Mayo Clinic explains that opioid painkillers are one of the prescription drugs that are most commonly abused this way, mostly by teens and young adults.

In fact, illicit use of prescription painkillers has been reported to be as high as almost 2% among adolescents aged 12 to 17 and close to 3% among young adults aged 18 to 25.1

Many people think that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs, but they can cause serious side effects, especially when they are abused. And snorting painkillers can be incredibly damaging to your health.

Snorting painkillers may be appealing to some users because of the quick and intense onset of effects. However, as they use painkillers non-medically more and more often, they may soon find that the drugs don’t have the same strength of effects no matter what route of administration is used.

Because snorting produces a faster, more extreme high, users with a painkiller tolerance that aren’t finding the same level of stimulation from ingesting painkillers orally may begin snorting the crushed-up pills to get to the same level of intoxication. Others snort painkillers simply because it causes an intense, relaxing high.

If you already have a problem with snorting painkillers, give us a call to find out more about addiction treatment options that can help you achieve a healthier life. Please call 1-888-744-0789 Who Answers? today.

Painkiller (Opiate) Addiction Treatment

Treatment for opiate/opioid painkiller addiction will, in many cases, commence with a period of detoxification, which is when the body is allowed to clear itself of all the drugs in the body. This opioid detox period is often associated with a number of withdrawal symptoms that can be very uncomfortable, but are not life-threatening. Early opioid withdrawal tends to involve:2

  • Anxiety/agitation.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Insomnia.
  • Excessive sweating and yawning.
  • Runny nose.

Later withdrawal symptoms include: 2

  • Abdominal pain and cramping.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Goose bumps.
  • Dilated pupils.

Opiate abuse can lead to serious physical dependency, so behavioral therapy treatment is frequently supplemented by medication-assisted therapy to help ease the user out of addiction.

Naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine are the main medications considered to help with opiate abuse recovery because they help reduce cravings without providing the intense high.3

Choosing a Luxury Program

luxury-shutter149888981-girl-looking-out-on-dockBecause opioid withdrawal can be very unpleasant, many people opt to enroll in a program that includes comfort as a focal component of recovery. These programs are generally known as luxury or executive programs.

They focus on providing extreme comfort to their patients through privacy, ambiance, increased one-on-one care, and amenities such as spa access, an internet connection, swimming pools, and other things that can keep you distracted through periods of distress or cravings.

Traditional treatments can offer the same quality of treatment, but often do not have the same range of amenities as a luxury program. The increased one-on-one care that a luxury program can offer may also help with the psychological symptoms that may arise following opiate detox.

It is important to note that luxury programs will come with a higher price tag. Lower-cost traditional treatment facilities still offer quality, effective treatment, but do not focus as much on comfort as luxury programs.

If you are concerned about your misuse of prescription painkillers, as well as your potential need for detox and treatment, help is available. Call 1-888-744-0789 Who Answers? to speak with a treatment support representative about finding a treatment center that will work with your needs to get you or your loved one started on the path to recovery.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2013). Opiate Withdrawal.
  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Treating addiction to prescription opioids.
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