Seroquel (Quetiapine) is the brand name of an FDA-approved antipsychotic medication. It treats conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and severe insomnia.
While physicians commonly prescribe Seroquel to treat mental health disorders, it has also become a popular prescription medication for recreational abuse in the United States.
Seroquel influences levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, leading to calmness and relaxation. People who snort Seroquel may be seeking these effects.
Why Is It Dangerous To Snort Seroquel?
The recommended starting dose of Seroquel is 50 mg/day, taken once a day, in pill form. The medication is meant to be taken whole in pill form.
When Seroquel is taken under the supervision of a qualified medical professional and exactly as prescribed, it is unlikely to lead to chemical dependency, addiction, or adverse side effects.
People who abuse Seroquel often combine it with other drugs, such as marijuana and alcohol. In these cases, Seroquel pills are crushed and snorted (insufflated), or smoked.
These methods of abuse bypass the medication’s controlled release properties, resulting in direct absorption into the bloodstream.
Crushing, splitting, or chewing the extended-release pills may lead to too much of the drug being released into the body at once.
Seroquel abuse may put a person at high risk of developing a substance use disorder and experiencing dangerous side effects, especially when combined with other drugs.
Side Effects Of Snorting Seroquel
Snorting Seroquel destroys the sustained-release properties of the medication and creates a euphoric high. The nasal passageways are highly vascularized and allow for drugs to quickly enter the bloodstream.
Drug insufflation is a common method of abuse among individuals who abuse drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.
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When someone snorts Seroquel, the powder travels from blood vessels in the nose directly to the heart and lungs, before being distributed to the rest of the body.
Snorting Seroquel can lead to dangerous levels of the drug being present in the bloodstream, leading to unpredictable effects, high risks of addiction, and overdose.
Side effects of snorting Seroquel include:
- increased energy
- high blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- elevated breathing
- high body temperature
Snorting Seroquel may lead to damage to the sensitive tissues of the nose, throat, and lungs.
Snorting the drug may cause inflammation in these tissues, causing infection or blockage in the nasal airways and respiratory tract.
Damage caused by snorting Seroquel may also include:
- chronic nasal congestion
- chronic sinus infection
- difficulty swallowing
- loss of smell
- sores in the oral cavity and sinuses
- sleep apnea
- upper-respiratory infection
Withdrawal From Seroquel
Antidepressant (SSRI) drugs that affect serotonin levels in the brain are known to cause more noticeable withdrawal symptoms. Seroquel directly affects serotonin levels and dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.
When a person abuses Seroquel, withdrawal may be more complex and require medical assistance.
If a person becomes addicted to Seroquel and stops the drug suddenly, they may develop suicidal thoughts and other adverse side effects.
Stopping Seroquel suddenly may lead to health problems such as cardiac arrest and other medical dysfunctions.
Those who intend to quit Seroquel should seek medical advice from a trusted physician.
Seroquel withdrawal symptoms may include:
- suicidal thoughts
- extreme agitation
- aggressive behavior
- cardiac arrhythmias
- cardiac arrest
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors do not occur with all withdrawal experiences. However, due to these risks, addiction treatment and access to healthcare that provides professional medical assistance may be necessary.
An individual who has developed dependency or addiction to Seroquel should consult with a medical professional before stopping its use.
Treatment Options For Seroquel Addiction
When a person is suffering from Seroquel dependency or addiction, completing a detox program under medical supervision may be required to prevent medical emergencies.
Addiction treatment programs that specialize in treating Seroquel addiction and withdrawal enable an addicted individual to achieve sobriety safely and responsibly.
Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers provide necessary and supportive medical treatment as a person gradually tapers down their dose of the drug.
This method both increases an individual’s chances of successfully completing treatment and avoiding relapse.
If you or a loved one is struggling with quetiapine abuse, please connect with one of our treatment specialists today.
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- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Quetiapine discontinuation syndrome
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Quetiapine dependence and withdrawal: a case report
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — A human laboratory study investigating the effects of quetiapine on marijuana withdrawal and relapse in daily marijuana smokers