Ritalin is snorted by people looking to get high quick, but this behavior can have severe consequences.

Ritalin a prescription medication commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD often have difficulty focusing on one task or sitting still. Ritalin helps people with ADHD to focus more and pay attention. In people who do not have ADHD, Ritalin will not have the same effects and may cause harmful side effects

Ritalin is also used recreationally by people who want to get high from it. Some people may take higher than normal doses orally to induce a state of euphoria, while many resort to snorting Ritalin to speed up the rate at which euphoria is achieved. However, misusing Ritalin in these ways poses serious health risks.

Article at a Glance:

Some important points to keep in mind about snorting Ritalin include:

  • It is never a good idea to snort any type of drug
  • There can be dangerous side effects that occur, including death
  • Snorting Ritalin is a sign of addiction
  • People with an addiction to Ritalin should seek help

Why Do People Snort Ritalin?

Ritalin works by increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which can affect mood. Due to its effects on dopamine, Ritalin can cause a state of euphoria when a person uses it at doses higher than prescribed for ADHD.

People snort Ritalin to speed up its effects and intensify the high associated with its use. Snorting Ritalin increases the rate at which it enters the bloodstream as compared to taking it orally, which requires time for the digestive system to break it down. While snorting Ritalin leads to a high more quickly than taking it in other ways, snorting Ritalin is very dangerous.

Another reason people might snort Ritalin is that they use or abuse other illicit substances and they do not have access to them or cannot afford to buy other drugs. Sometimes, getting access to Ritalin is easier and less expensive, which are two factors that play an important role in the decision to use a drug.

How Ritalin Is Snorted?

Ritalin is snorted by grinding the pills into a fine powder and rapidly inhaling them through the nose. People who snort Ritalin may roll up a dollar bill or something similar and snort the powder that way.

Regardless of how to snort Ritalin, it’s risky behavior that usually ends badly and has several health-related consequences.

Dangers of Snorting Ritalin

Snorting Ritalin is dangerous because it increases the rate of absorption and usually leads to a higher dose than intended. The higher dose can lead to higher states of euphoria that can lead to addiction.

Experiencing Ritalin-induced euphoria may lead to cravings for Ritalin. If Ritalin is used repetitively, it can cause a person to need larger doses to achieve the same state of euphoria. Both of these events are signs of Ritalin addiction. Snorting Ritalin can also be a sign of addiction in itself, in that the person is trying to reach the state of euphoria faster.

Snorting Ritalin can cause a person to ingest more of the drug than intended, which can easily lead to overdose. Additionally, some forms of Ritalin are designed to have a higher dose of the active ingredient and be released slowly over time. Snorting this type of Ritalin can be especially dangerous because the entire dose is delivered all at once, rather than over time, as intended.

Side Effects of Snorting Ritalin

There are both short- and long-term side effects of snorting Ritalin. While the short term effects may resolve over time, the long-term effects can be permanent. The side effects of snorting Ritalin are:

  • Damage to the nasal membrane
  • Nosebleeds
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular or fast heart rate
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Lightheadedness
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation

Long-Lasting Effects of Snorting Ritalin

Some serious, long-lasting effects of snorting Ritalin include:

If a person is regularly using Ritalin and then stops abruptly, it can lead to Ritalin withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances

If you or a loved one are struggling with a Ritalin addiction, The Recovery Village can help. To learn more about our comprehensive treatment plans, call The Recovery Village to speak with a representative.

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Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Trisha Sippel, PhD
Dr. Sippel is a diversely trained scientist with expertise in cancer biology and immunology. Read more

Bright, G.M. “Abuse of medications employed for the tr[…]le community survey.” Medscape Journal of Medicine, May, 2008. Accessed June 14, 2019.

Jain, R.; Stark, J.G. “Safety and efficacy considerations due t[…]imulant medications.” Postgraduate Medicine, September, 2016. Accessed June 14, 2019.

National Institute of Drug Abuse. “Prescription Stimulants.” June, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.