While abuse of buspirone is rarely life-threatening, it can bring about negative health effects. Snorting or smoking buspirone will wear on the body and provide little in return.
The goal of nearly all drug abuse is to exploit some element of a drug’s effects on the body and/or mind to achieve something desired, even if it is unwise. If a drug might cause euphoria when taken as intended, perhaps it causes more if abused. Whatever effect is being exploited, drug abuse then spirals from there, especially If the drug is addictive or causes physical dependence.
Buspirone abuse is rare for a reason. Although all drugs can be abused, there is little reason for a drug abuser to even attempt to abuse buspirone. While some assume it has a sedative effect at extreme doses, RxList points out that buspirone lacks any prominent sedative effect.
Snorting buspirone bypasses the standard method by which it is taken: orally as a tablet. In an article discussing various methods of abuse of harder, more addictive drugs, the Mayo Clinic notes that the nose has fairly sensitive mucous membranes in it, called mucosa.
Snorting a reactive foreign material up the nose, even if not as extreme as drugs like cocaine and oxycodone, can damage the mucosa. This can lead to infection, a chronically and uncomfortably dry nose, or a runny nose, depending on how the mucosa is damaged.
When taken as intended, one of buspirone’s side effects is a runny nose, so it is especially unwise to take the drug via this route. When a drug is abused, normal side effects are usually heightened.
Such abuse, like much of buspirone abuse due to its rarity, is poorly studied and could have unknown consequences.
Smoking buspirone appears to be rare to nonexistent practice. It is unclear if buspirone even can be smoked. The processing that would be required for such an act would likely lead a potential abuser to snort the drug instead.
Regardless, the mouth has mucosa as well, and if damaged, it could lead to similar problems as snorting the drug.
If buspirone can indeed be smoked, smoking is generally a quicker way to get a drug into the bloodstream compared to snorting. This would theoretically put one at greater risk for its side effects and overdose, even more so than snorting the drug.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s drug database DailyMed, while reiterating buspirone’s relatively mild and safe nature, does discuss its risk for overdose. At doses as high as 375 mg per day (over six times the recommended maximum of 60 mg per day), healthy male volunteers began to experience the more extreme end of buspirone’s side effects: nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and constricted pupils (miosis).
There have been no reported deaths via overdose while on buspirone, although the information is admittedly outdated, last updated in 2007. The only exceptions the site adds to the lack of overdose deaths are cases in which other drugs were abused as well. Abusing drugs in combination is never safe.
RxList’s information on the drug, last updated in 2018 regarding the brand Buspar, shows similar recommendations (specifically of note is the 60 mg per day maximum).
In essence, it seems unlikely that buspirone abuse will be fatal to most people. However, overdose can cause extreme nausea, drowsiness, and constricted pupils.
Seek aid immediately if you experience these symptoms. They can still lead to long-term damage and fairly serious risks if experienced along with the effects of other drugs.
Obviously, drug abuse is never advisable, but buspirone does not even have much effect if abused. Its abuse risks damaging the body via whatever method is used with no reward.
The drug is not properly studied regarding snorting or smoking it, meaning the long-term effects are unpredictable.
Its only potential for abuse seems to be in claims it has significant sedative properties — a claim medical sources seem to refute. Otherwise, it primarily is just going to make one fairly ill if abused.
Buspirone abuse of any kind will likely make you feel nauseous, dizzy, and jittery. It can also cause you to have difficulty sleeping. It can cause vision problems too, the long-term effects of which are not studied but could potentially lead to sustained damage.
Taken as prescribed, the drug can help with anxiety disorders, but buspirone is often taken in conjunction with other medications. On its own, the effect is mild and does not scale up with abuse.
It does not cause euphoria, and it is not believed to be a sedative, which is likely why it is not classified as a controlled substance. A risk for serious abuse is not believed to be present by the modern medical community.
If you have problems with addiction or anxiety, especially if you are considering buspirone abuse, seek help from a medical professional. Abusing buspirone or any drug is not going to help your life, and it definitely will not help anxiety in the long term.If buspirone is not having its intended effect, snorting or smoking it is not going to help.
Buspirone does not work for everyone. There are alternative medications and treatment courses available.
Anxiety disorders are complex and can take time to properly control. Abusing drugs will not speed up the process.
(April 2007). Label: Buspirone Hydrochloride – Buspirone Hydrochloride Tablet. DailyMed. Retrieved February 2019 from from https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=239dcefe-45a9-48f5-a6f1-1ac6546e0da2.
Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Retrieved February 2019 from from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/symptoms-causes/syc-20365112?p=1.
(October 2018). Buspar (Side Effects). RxList. Retrieved February 2019 from from https://www.rxlist.com/buspar-drug/patient-images-side-effects.htm#info.
(October 2018). Buspar (Professional). RxList. Retrieved February 2019 from from https://www.rxlist.com/buspar-drug.htm#clinpharm.