The DEA reports that etizolam is usually sold as a tablet, on blotter paper, or as a powder. The powdered form facilitates snorting it, which can cause various health issues.
What Is Etizolam?
Etizolam is a substance that is legal in some countries as a treatment for anxiety because of its sedative properties. It is not legal to own, possess, or use etizolam in the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Etizolam is a thienodiazepine. That makes it similar to benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium. In places where it is legal, it is also prescribed to deal with anxiety, insomnia, or panic disorders.
Some countries have banned etizolam altogether, but others allow researchers to conduct studies while preventing its sale to the general public.
What Happens When You Snort Etizolam
Snorting any drug is dangerous.
- When you snort a drug, you feel its effects within five to 10 minutes, depending on the substance.
- Snorting makes it easier for the drug to get into your bloodstream.
- Your nasal cavity is delicate and easy to damage.
Many individuals feel that prescription medication is safe to snort, but this is not true. Etizolam that is sold as a tablet may seem legal because it looks legitimate, but the only way to get your hands on it in the United States is through unlawful means.
Etizolam should not be crushed and snorted even in places where its use is regulated, such as India, Italy, and Japan. Crushing etizolam involves using the medication in a way that the manufacturer did not intend.
Most people first crush tablets into a powder. This powder is then separated into lines and snorted by itself or using an implement, such as a straw or a rolled-up dollar bill.
Effects on the Brain and Body
In September 2014, the journal Pharmacology published a case study on alprazolam (Xanax) and its effects once inhaled. Xanax is related to etizolam, and the results of the study provide clues about how etizolam can affect your brain and body.
Researchers found that inhaling increased the risk of misuse in participants of its study. Shorter-acting Xanax was found to be more dangerous than extended-release versions of the medication. The case study showed that people who snorted Xanax felt its effects faster than those who took it orally.
Benzodiazepines have sedative effects, so snorting them will cause you to have these feelings much faster. This is because the drugs do not have to go through the digestive system.
There are additional concerns about inhaling drugs.
- Snorting could cause permanent damage to your respiratory system.
- Inhaling drugs could cause side effects, such as faster heart rate, constipation, dizziness, tremors, and vomiting.
- Snorting any substance means you are more likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal if you want to stop taking it. The withdrawal itself is not fatal, but it is uncomfortable. Seek medical help if you experience withdrawal symptoms caused by etizolam.
In July 2017, TIME reported that snorting anything is risky because of how powders of any kind can affect your nose. The majority of people today are aware that snorting illicit substances, such as cocaine, is bad for your health. TIME highlights a few possible negative outcomes of snorting drugs:
- Nasal lining inflammation
- Exposure to impurities added to bulk up the product, such as detergent or laxatives
- Holes in the septum (the cartilage that separates your nostrils)
- Crusty skin in the nasal passages
The report also mentioned that the nose acts as a filter for the air that goes into your body. Any damage that occurs to your respiratory system can prevent your nose from filtering air properly. The magazine was discussing Coco Loko, a chocolate powder that was being sold legally and did not contain ingredients as dangerous as etizolam.
Experts interviewed for the article mentioned that any powder could pose health issues and potentially damage your nasal passages. Risks are higher when misusing a drug.
Are There Any Other Risks?
Etizolam is banned, but you may encounter it if you are trying to buy something else. It is not regulated in the U.S. and could be fatal if you do not know what you are taking. You may experience heart problems, coma, or even seizures.
Drug Bank says that etizolam can be between six to 10 times stronger than Valium. The sedative properties are far more concentrated than some other substances.
Legal Consequences if Caught Selling
Since etizolam is not legal in the United States, you also subject yourself to legal risks if you are caught owning, using, or dealing it.
The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) indicted four Americans who were caught selling etizolam in September 2017.