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gamefu91's avatar

How do drugs work when taken orally and snorted? And how do they differ in action?

Asked by gamefu91 (585 points ) January 5th, 2011

I wanted to know how drugs work inside our body and specially about snorting.I read about it on the internet.It says snorting puts the drugs directly into our blood stream.How does it go into bloodstream?

• When orally taken the drug is absorbed slowly over a long range of time,the drug goes through the whole digestion process and gets absorbed in the bloodstream from the intestines?

• But when taken by snorting it,the whole drug goes at once in the bloodstream,will act intensively but for short duration? The drug goes from nasal passage into the lungs,from lungs it gets absorbed into bloodstream and then to heart and then to all organs of the body?

• Is this the only difference between action of drugs when taken orally and when snorted? Add more as much as you know and please give analogies so I can understand better and make someone understand in lame language the difference in their action.

• When taken orally the drug amount in bloodstream remains normal/optimum/safe always or it gradually rises and reaches the level that would in case of snorting? Please clear this thing to me,if possible with some analogy or in lame language too.

• The drugs might be made in away that when it gets metabolized,it releases the main chemical compound; so what happens when it is snorted? How does it get metabolized?

• If only those drugs that need not be metabolized to release the main chemical compound are snorted, then why are potentially abused drug not made such that they need to be metabolized and don’t work when snorted?

• And I also read somewhere that when snorted,the drugs directly go to the brain,what does this mean? When taken either way,the drug enters bloodstream and will go to brain similarly in both cases,no? And only the quantity of drug carried to the brain will be more in case of snorting?

• If the drugs taken orally are absorbed slowly with time as opposed to snorting,then what is sustained release (SR) and immediate release (IR)? Is extended release (XR) different from SR?

• Can SR or XR be snorted?

• Considering the rate of absorption/action of drug; Snorting > immediate release > sustained release ,right? What else can be added here?

• What are other ways that puts the drug fast into the bloodstream? I read somewhere injecting stuff rectally,means that will get absorbed from the intestinal walls into the bloodstream,right? And so it will be safer than snorting because nasal tissue and lungs are safe from this? But the large intestine is supposed to absorb water only,no? Or will it also absorb the drugs? And it also does selective absorption,so it may not absorb the extra things in the drug other than the main chemical?

I am not doing any of these,except I take drugs orally and use my nasal passage for air only,I am just curious to know how this works :)

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7 Answers

Arbornaut's avatar

my understanding of this is that the drug is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the nasal cavity and into the blood supply, which in this area is right next to the brain having a faster onset than oral ingestion. smoking a compound is faster again with injection being the fastest, as i understand it. up the bum bum or ‘top shelving’ iv been told is faster to deliver a larger amount of the drug than oral ingestion, which has something to do with the high temperature of the rectum and the thinness of the barrier to the blood stream.

marinelife's avatar

Why do you care? You should not be snorting or injecting drugs that are meant to be taken orally.

It sounds like you understand the mechanism just fine. What more do you want to know?

Seaofclouds's avatar

You should never crush or cut a sustained release or extended release pill. Doing so destroys the coating (that is usually on them) that makes them release the medications slowly.

faye's avatar

Quit looking for a high out of your mom’s pills.

Arbornaut's avatar

its ok to get high..

Silence04's avatar

Sr and xr are the same. They have a coating that takes longer to dissolve in you stomach, thus releasing the drug into you system over time.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Could I make a suggestion for you? Go to a big chain bookstore and buy yourself a paperback on prescription drugs. I had one as a young adult and it’s like a bible of drugs and all that can be done with them. It’s also handy if you get in trouble and any of your friends or family want to find the well thumbed over pages to take a gander at what you’ve gotten yourself into. It’s like Google without internet connection charges, people looking over your shoulder at the screen and you can slide it out of sight instead of raising suspicion by slamming shut your laptop or closing web pages suddenly.

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