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To the Point

Short answer to, can you snort hydrocodone is: “yes.” This is something that is done. Vicodin and Norco are common prescription drugs in this category. They can produce euphoric effects which is why they have a tendency for abuse and insufflate (or snort).  People become addicted and will choose to crush the pills. The more important question is, “What could go wrong?” Answer: A lot.

Can You Snort Hydrocodone

What Is Hydrocodone Anyway?

Hydrocodone is a commonly controlled drug that is prescribed for pain. Pharmacologically, it belongs to a group of meds called exogenous opioid analgesics. They relieve pain by binding to the receptors in the brain and spinal cord involved in the transmission of pain.

Hydrocodone is synthetically derived from codeine, a natural alkaloid from poppy seeds. And, of course, it is also used as a cough suppressant for non-productive cough in adults.

It is administered orally as a tablet, capsule, or liquid solution. For pain relief, it is found in combination products with other pain relievers like acetaminophen or NSAID (Immediate release) or as a single entity (extended-release) formulation.

The Dangers of Snorting Hydrocodone

One of the reasons inhaling (or snorting) any substance is so popular is also the reason it is such a risk: uncontrolled rapid delivery. This is a recipe for overdose.

It’s a quick step from thinking you are having a fun time to difficulty breathing, bradycardia, cyanosis, hypotension, and loss of consciousness.

Snorting and the Upper Respiratory Tract

Prolonged snorting of hydrocodone causes irritation and inflammation of the nasal mucosa, leading to nose bleeding. The damage to the mucosa can be so extensive and also includes a breakdown of the nasal septum and roof of the mouth, leading to difficulty in eating, swallowing, and even breathing.

And yes. It could cause a loss of smell. But you could even damage your vocal chords.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Due to Snorting

This immunologic reaction results from exposure to inhaled allergens, such as hydrocodone particles and fillers. Chronic exposure to these particles leads to inflammation and fibrotic lung disease. This could mean a lifetime of shortness of breath and dry coughing.

Acute exposure could lead to a severe allergic response and acute respiratory failure.

Sharing snorting tools may spread diseases

Individuals who snort drugs tend to share tools and materials and are exposed to bodily fluids such as blood in the mucus, which leads to the spread of blood-borne infections like HIV and Hepatitis.

Snorting Leads to Dependence and Addiction

Hydrocodone oral formulations are gradually released upon administration, whereas snorting leads to rapid release and an immediate, intense euphoric effect. With repeated use, tolerance builds, and higher doses are required leading to dependence and addiction.

Substance use disorders can affect anyone. Prescription drug addiction is so common because people often believe they are safer than illicit options. But dependence and addiction are always dangerous. Once a person’s brain chemistry is altered, it usually takes a professional detox and treatment to safely bring them back to normal. If you are struggling with addiction of any kind, EagleCrest Recovery can help. Call us today, and one of our addiction specialists will answer your questions and help get you on the path to recovery.


Adverse Effects of Long-term Hydrocodone Abuse

  • Severe respiratory depression
  • Hypotension and bradycardia
  • Peripheral edema
  • Abdominal pains and vomiting
  • Sensorineural hearing loss


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