Cocaine Nose: Symptoms and Treatments of This Side Effect of Cocaine Abuse

What is Cocaine Nose?Shape

Cocaine nose is a condition caused by habitual cocaine use. It's possible for a person to literally destroy their nose with cocaine. Read on.

Behind the allure of a fleeting high, a hidden consequence silently impacts those who indulge in cocaine. Cocaine nose, a troubling side effect, reveals the actual toll of drug abuse, leaving its sufferers with distinct symptoms and a desperate search for relief.

In this article, we delve into the harsh reality of this condition, uncovering its distinctive signs and shedding light on the treatments that offer a flicker of hope in the darkness.

What Is Cocaine Nose?

Cocaine nose is a term that refers to the harm to the area of the nose that can occur as a result of snorting cocaine. When cocaine is inhaled from the nose, the blood vessels in the nostril lining become constricted due to the drug's effects.

Cocaine use can cause the blood arteries that line the nose to become constricted for an extended period, destroying the tissues that line the nose. This leads to ulcers in the nasal wall and septum, which can lead to breaches in the septum itself, infection, rupture of supporting cartilage, wounds, and eventually, the collapse of the nose.

Cocaine nose is an adverse effect of cocaine consumption that is frequently considered serious. Cocaine may trigger difficulties with how air is moistened before it reaches the lungs, in addition to the cosmetic issues it can bring. The majority of these injuries are likely to be long-term in nature.

Even if the problems stated may be more likely to emerge with prolonged cocaine usage, the damage may happen without you even realizing it.

Cocaine usage can, in the short term, result in symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nose bleeding, and congestion in the nasal passages. Additionally, you may experience difficulty breathing, scabs in the nose, and infections in your sinuses.

The most effective protection against cocaine nose is to abstain from using cocaine entirely. It is strongly recommended that you seek help from a qualified specialist if you currently struggle with cocaine addiction.

Cocaine Nose: Damage to the Nose Caused by Prolonged Cocaine Use

When someone uses cocaine for an extended period, the blood veins in their nose will repeatedly constrict, eventually resulting in diminished circulation in their nose. In the beginning, this will make the inner membrane of the nose extra delicate and susceptible to harm. This can cause the nose lining to become irritated and damaged, which can contribute to nosebleeds.

Cocaine can go deeper into the nostrils when the inner layer of the nose is damaged, which in turn enables cocaine to do more harm than simply the lining inside the nose.

Cocaine Nose: Infections of the Sinuses

Using cocaine increases the risk of developing severe infections of the sinuses for several different reasons. Cocaine usage reduces blood flow to the sinuses, inhibiting the immune system's capacity to react appropriately.

In addition, the act of snorting cocaine typically entails stuffing an object up one's nose, which exposes the user to a host of potential pollutants that could lead to an infection. Additionally, the damage that can be caused by using cocaine can lead to abnormalities, which can make it simpler for infections in the sinuses to begin.

It's possible that sinus infections merely appear uncomfortable and irritating to you. But on the other hand, if germs from an unresolved sinus infection make their way into the circulation, this can result in a condition known as sepsis, allowing bacteria to thrive in the patient's blood. Sepsis is an urgent medical condition that can result in mortality and is one of the most common causes of death.

Damage to the Septum Caused by Cocaine Use

Cocaine usage may increase the risk of developing nasal complications, one of which is septal damage, commonly known as perforated septum. The section of the nose that divides your nostrils into two independent air passages is called the septum. It is susceptible to damage when there is a reduction in flow in the nose; as a result, sections of it may gradually begin to deteriorate and decay.

This will, in time, either cause a gap to form inside the septum or lead the septum to shift to one side, obstructing one of the nostrils.

Saddle Nose

A breakdown of the nasal bridge of one's nose is one of the symptoms of the illness known as saddle nose. This is the reason cocaine allows a reduction in circulation, which in turn leads the tissues within the nose to perish and rot. The result is a condition called cocaine nose.

In addition, the quantity of healthy tissue found inside the nostrils eventually becomes insufficient to support the outer layer of the nose; as a result, the nasal bridge begins to collapse, resulting in a disfigurement of the nose.

Abrasions to the Hard Palate

Damage to the hard palate can be one of the most severe and uncomfortable symptoms associated with cocaine use. The area of the upper part of the mouth that is the most rigid is called the hard palate. The nasal passageway is separated from the mouth by a structure called the hard palate, which is primarily made of bone. 

When coke is used regularly, the blood flow to the upper section of the hard palate that runs through the nasal cavity can become impaired, leading to infections. This may lead to a hole forming in the roof of the mouth if it goes untreated for a long enough period.

If you have a hole in your hard palate, your sound quality will change, and you may find that the foods and beverages in your mouth end up in your nose. 

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Coke nose isn’t the only side effect of cocaine use. Cocaine can cause a lot of damage to a person in the short and long term.

What Are the Long and Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

Short-term side effects of cocaine abuse can include:

  • Feelings of euphoria

  • Increased energy

  • Dilated pupils

  • Decreased appetite

  • Increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure

Long-term side effects of cocaine abuse can lead to many serious health issues such as:

  • Seizures

  • Respiratory failure

  • Stroke

  • Paranoia

  • Insomnia

Find Hope at The Forge Recovery Center

Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24/7 to answer your questions, provide guidance, and schedule an initial assessment. Let us help you determine if our programs are the right fit to meet your needs.


Healthy Nose Vs. A Cocaine Nose

It's possible to spot the evident changes between a typical nose against a cocaine nose just by looking at them. For example, rhinorrhea, a "runny nose," is a common side effect of cocaine usage. This illness is brought on by chronic abuse of the drug, which causes tissue damage to the inner part of the nose.

In addition, those who use cocaine frequently may have various problems with the sense of odor, including completely losing the ability to smell or experiencing a spike in their susceptibility to odors.

A person who uses cocaine may have a nose that looks quite distinct from the average person's.

Because of the irritation generated by having direct contact with particles of cocaine that are sucked up the nostrils, perforation of the nasal septum and other flaws may become obvious. Additionally, uncorrectable ulcers may develop as a result of the irritation.

It is essential for people who have become addicted to coke to receive help as soon as possible rather than putting it off for a later date if they want to prevent doing any irreversible harm to their noses.

Symptoms of Cocaine Nose

Cocaine nose is characterized by a long runny or stuffy nose, one of its most prevalent symptoms. This condition is brought on by irritated nasal cells, which can restrict airflow through the nasal passageways and make breathing difficult.

Some persons with cocaine noses also have dryness and crustiness in the nose, in addition to other symptoms such as a running or blocked nose.

Another typical side effect of cocaine nose is a diminished or absent sense of smell. Depending on how badly the nasal tissues were damaged, this could be a transitory condition or last for the rest of your life.

People with cocaine noses are at an increased risk of experiencing nosebleeds because the blood vessels in their noses have been damaged and are, therefore, more likely to burst.

Why Is Cocaine Nose So Serious?

Cocaine use can result in multiple injuries, some of which can lead to potentially fatal illnesses like infection. Damage caused by cocaine to the tissues of the nasal cavity prevents normal tissue regeneration within and around the nostrils for the rest of the patient's life.

The effects of cocaine on the nose can have a wide range of manifestations, from an early rupture of the septum in the nasal cavity to the complete breakdown of the nose with loss of standard nasal form and architecture. These manifestations can occur at any point throughout cocaine use. Suppose a cocaine nose is caught and treated medically or surgically immediately. In that case, stopping the condition from worsening may be possible.

Are You Struggling with Mental Health or Addiction?

We Can Help. Call Us Now!

CALL: 877-839-1772

How Is Cocaine Nose Treated?

The injuries sustained due to continuous usage of cocaine are initially uncomfortable and severe but can heal with time. Unfortunately, nasal damage that comes as a result of using cocaine does not repair itself over time.

In order to properly treat cocaine nose, it is often necessary to treat the root cause of addiction to coke. The treatment could include talking therapy, taking medication, and getting support from loved ones and friends.

In some instances, the nose's reconstructive surgery may be required to heal damage to the soft tissues of the nose. A cosmetic surgeon can evaluate any damage to the nose and discuss possible treatments with the patient.

If you or anyone you know exhibits symptoms of cocaine nose, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Cocaine usage is associated with various severe health issues; therefore, getting treatment as quickly as possible is essential.

Cocaine Nose Can Be Stopped Before It Gets Worse. The Forge Recovery Center Will Help

If cocaine use is causing physical damage to you or a loved one, it's a sign you need help. Cocaine Nose is an especially serious side effect of cocaine use. It occurs when the drug damages the natural protective layer of skin inside the nose, leaving it susceptible to infection and further damage over time. The Forge Recovery Center provides support for those struggling with cocaine abuse by helping them end their dependence on cocaine and providing tools to prevent relapse.

At The Forge Recovery Center, we believe that everyone deserves a chance to heal and recover from drug abuse. Our compassionate team of experts provides an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. We focus on helping you create healthy habits and coping skills that will stay with you for the long term so that you can remain sober after completing our program.

If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, don't wait. The Forge Recovery Center has the resources and support necessary to help you or your loved one get back on track and live a healthy life. Contact us today for more information about our program and how we can help. Together, we can end the cycle of cocaine abuse and find new hope in recovery from cocaine nose.

Are You Struggling with Mental Health or Addiction?

We Can Help. Call Us Now!

CALL: 877-839-1772

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

October 6, 2023