Addiction A-Z

Insufflated

Insufflate is a formal word doctors use that means to inhale a substance through the mouth, or more commonly, through the nose. Drug addicts call insufflating “snorting.” Sometimes patients are required to insufflate gases such as oxygen and nitrous oxide during medical procedures. Nasal sprays, many allergy medications, and inhalers used by asthmatics are all examples of drugs that are insufflated. Drugs that are often insufflated are fentanyl, midazolam, and naloxone. Many pediatricians have children insufflate drugs whenever these young patients are too afraid of needles and injections. Tobacco is the most common insufflated substance. Drug abusers often insufflate psychoactive drugs, even though it is dangerous to do so. The reason they prefer inhaling many drugs through their noses is that this method delivers a higher concentration of the substance to the brain and nervous system than when the drug is taken in pill form and metabolized in the liver and other digestive organs. However, insufflations are more likely to lead to overdoses, and even death. Drug abusers sometimes crush opiate painkillers such as oxycodone, fentanyl, meperidine and hydromorphone into powders and then inhale them. Cocaine and heroin addicts frequently arrange their powders into lines and then inhale them through straws. Other stimulants that are insufflated are amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and certain drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. PCP or angel dust (chemical name: phencyclidine) and Ketamine also can be snorted. The sleeping pill Ambien is sometimes crushed and insufflated to produce hallucinations. Snorting drugs can damage the inside of the nose so severely that after a while, a drug addict becomes unable to snort drugs. Snorting can also cause a constant flow of mucus or “runny nose.”

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