This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Can You Snort Alcohol?

Can You Snort Alcohol?

Yes, you can snort alcohol.(1) It may come as a humongous surprise for many to learn that some people like to inhale alcohol through their nose or snort it, instead of drinking it (or at least they would like to try!). While there is no definite proof that a lot of people practice it, it has been reported in news quite a few times.

Drinking alcohol has its risks, but does snorting alcohol add more risks or does it have advantages?

Furthermore we will discuss in this article, why people snort alcohol, how do they snort alcohol and what to anticipate if you want to try snorting alcohol.

How Do People Snort Alcohol?

There are quite a few methods of nasally inhaling alcohol, which are discussed below (1):

AWOL or Alcohol Without Liquid Devices

These devices are a form of vaporizer. Alcohol is poured into a diffuser capsule with an oxygen pipe connected to this diffuser capsule. Oxygen bubbles move through the capsule from the oxygen pipe and these oxygen bubbles incorporate alcohol here. And then you can breathe this boozy oxygen through your mouth or your nose using a tube.

After an increase in the usage of these devices, AWOL or Alcohol Without Liquid Devices are prohibited in a lot of places.

Snorting Liquid Alcohol

There are some people who prefer inhaling liquid alcohol. This is practiced using clear alcohol like vodka or gin and referred to as “chilly willy.”

Some people use the concave surface of an upside down shot glass and snort little amounts of alcohol off that surface. Others use a straw to inhale alcohol straight out of their glass. Sounds weird, right?


Since AWOL or Alcohol Without Liquid Devices were banned and they became rare to find, some people add liquor to their vaporizers. Although most of the people resort to inhaling alcohol through their mouth, there are many reports of people snorting alcohol through their noses too.

What Are The After-Effects Of Snorting Alcohol?

Snorting alcohol has the same feeling as when water unintentionally enters your nose. There is a burning, tingling sensation that moves from your nose to up in your eyes. Combine that feeling with how your mouth and throat feel when you intake a shot of vodka. These two feelings when experienced together give you an eye watering, and not so good feeling.

The Physiology of Drinking and Snorting Alcohol(3)

When alcohol is drunk by you, your stomach and liver dilutes the alcohol with the help of an enzyme named alcohol dehydrogenize. The ethanol in your liquor is broken down by this enzyme, stopping you from getting intoxicated quickly. But when alcohol is inhaled, it doesn’t go through this process of dilution and enters your bloodstream without being dilated. This causes you to feel the results of the alcohol quickly and more profoundly. Snorting alcohol also causes your blood alcohol concentration to increase rapidly.

Why Do People Snort Alcohol?(4)

While snorting alcohol doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience; here is why some people try it:

Absence of Alcohol Breath: Snorting alcohol prevents alcohol breath, some people inhale alcohol so as to avoid people noticing that they drink; specifically to avoid law enforcement. However, since the alcohol is still in your bloodstream, a breathalyzer will detect the alcohol in your body if you are pulled over.

No Hangover & Zero Calories (apparently):Snorting alcohol is(supposedly) calorie and hangover free. Some people might be tricked that snorting alcohol can prevent you from consuming calories or suffering from a hangover, but these are just assumptions and claims. There is no real, trusted proof for any of these assumptions.

Something Different: People also snort alcohol for its novel experience and they like to try it with their friends.

More Strong: Some people like snorting alcohol because it is powerful and gets you intoxicated rapidly when compared to just drinking it.

Personal Choice: Some people may like the taste and odor of liquor, but might not like the burning feeling that is accompanied when drinking alcohol. It might be their personal preference, which makes some people choose snorting alcohol to drinking it.

What Are The Risks Of Snorting Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol has its own risks, but snorting or inhaling it complicates it even more:

The largest risk of inhaling alcohol is that experts don’t know a lot about the effects of snorting alcohol. The instant results after inhaling alcohol are widely unknown. There is no trusted evidence except from people who have actually tried it, but that can be put down to anecdotal evidence with nothing proven yet.

Alcohol going straight into your bloodstream without being diluted can lead to a few complications. The biggest complication is alcohol poisoning. This lethal condition happens when your body can’t process the excess alcohol. To worsen this condition, this excess alcohol cannot be eliminated from your body by throwing up, because the excess alcohol isn’t passing through your digestive system.

Other than this, nasally inhaling or snorting alcohol can injure the sensitive skin within your nose.

What to Expect If You Want To Try Snorting Alcohol? (2)

Here are some precautions you can take if you are hell bent on trying to snort alcohol.

As mentioned previously, snorting alcohol amps up the intoxication you feel. So, if you want to snort alcohol, take into consideration the normal amount of alcohol that you usually drink, and dial it down to about a fraction of that amount. Another thing to bear in mind is that you will not be able to throw up the excess snorted alcohol; so it’s better to start slow and go with lesser amounts of alcohol if you are doing it for the first time for the sake of a new experience.

Additional precaution measures to be taken are usage of sterile equipment, be it a shot glass; a straw or a vape. It is also important to avoid sharing with others. Additionally, it is better to rinse your nose with warm water after you are done with snorting alcohol, as this will calm down any feeling of discomfort within the nose.

The Importance of Recognizing the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning (5, 6)

It is important for you and your friends to know the indications of alcohol poisoning that include: lack of coordination; disorientation/confusion; decreased body temperature; vomiting; cold and clammy skin; irregular and slow breathing; pallor; cyanosis; irregular heart rate (tachy or bradycardia); slurred speech; seizures and stupor or loss of consciousness.

Call emergency services like 911 immediately if you or anyone you know are experiencing these symptoms after alcohol intake in any which way.


For many people snorting alcohol is a way to feel intoxicated without a lot of alcohol consumption; however, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Drinking alcohol already has its own set of risks; however, those risks are well known and proven. Whereas; when it comes to snorting alcohol, you are placing yourself in unknown territory with no proper knowledge of any known risks. Despite everything, if you still want to go ahead and snort alcohol, then make sure you have a friend close to you who can supervise and intervene if and when things go wrong.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 14, 2021

Recent Posts

Related Posts