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Cocaine Nose

There are certain stereotypes we all know when it comes to substance use. For example, if you ask someone “what is a common way to use heroin?” most people (whether they use it or not) will tell you it is injected. The same stereotype goes for cocaine – most will tell you the way to use it is by snorting it up the nose. The thing about stereotypes is that they tend to hold some form of truth. Cocaine is most commonly snorted through the nose. But why? What damage does this cause?

How Long Do The Effects Of Heroin Last

There are certain stereotypes we all know when it comes to substance use. For example, if you ask someone “what is a common way to use heroin?” most people (whether they use it or not) will tell you it is injected. The same stereotype goes for cocaine – most will tell you the way to use it is by snorting it up the nose. The thing about stereotypes is that they tend to hold some form of truth. Cocaine is most commonly snorted through the nose. But why? What damage does this cause?

The state of Florida is one of the biggest areas for cocaine trafficking. This is because it’s easily accessible from Mexico, Central America, and South America, where cocaine is produced. The Port of Tampa handles the most cargo in the state of Florida, making it a prime area for cocaine smuggling. Just this past year, seven men were convicted of attempting to smuggle $20 million of cocaine through Tampa. While our law enforcement continues to do its best to stop these traffickers, cocaine still remains available in our communities. Clean Recovery Centers is working to provide education on these substances and the damages they can cause. Today, we are discussing what a cocaine nose is, and what the causes are behind it.

The Damage Done to the Nose by Cocaine Use

The nose and nasal cavity are designed to protect us from outside irritants. The hairs in the nose work to trap toxins and keep them from entering our respiratory passages. When cocaine is introduced, the fine powder gets through these defense systems and into our bodies. Over time, the hairs become damaged and cannot prevent other bacteria or toxins from entering into our system. While cocaine is typically in powder form, some crystal pieces can make it through. These pieces can cause cuts or irritation along the nasal passage, which can open the door to infections.

Cocaine is often cut with other substances as well. These substances can add to the damage being done to the nose. Side effects of cocaine use within the nasal passage include:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Difficulty swallowing

Other substances can look similar to cocaine. Heroin can be seen in a white powder form, and to the naked eye may be difficult to identify. Snorting other substances as well as cocaine can accelerate the rate of damage done to the nose. Being able to identify cocaine can help prolong extensive damage from mixing substances.

Irritation to the Nasal Lining

The damage caused to the nasal lining is progressive with cocaine use. At first, the nose will just feel irritated, similar to bad allergies or the flu. As cocaine use continues, the nasal lining begins to deteriorate. The nasal septum is crucial to breathing, and over time, cocaine can cause perforation. Some people already have what is called a deviated septum, which causes difficulty breathing, especially during sleep. For those that use cocaine by snorting, mild perforation can feel similar to deviation. Once perforation becomes severe, it is possible to lose support for the nasal structure. This is where “cocaine nose” comes into play; the nose itself can collapse. At this point, the damage is severe and will most likely need medical intervention to correct.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

There are many signs of cocaine addiction. Cocaine is a stimulant, which means it causes bursts of energy that can result in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex or reckless driving. Increased depression and anxiety are common between the uses of cocaine. Filling basic needs such as eating are put on the back burner, and cocaine becomes the main focus. Dopamine, the pleasure chemical in the brain, is released with cocaine use. The brain gets used to this release and will need more cocaine in order to produce the same results. Snorting cocaine is one of the quickest ways to get the substance into the bloodstream (or the quickest way to feel its effects).

Short-Term Effects

When cocaine is used, a burst of energy and euphoria is felt. This “rush” is what brings people back to using cocaine. However, cocaine not only affects the brain, but the body as well. Some common short-term effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Heart attacks or strokes
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss

Long-Term effects

As cocaine use progresses, the body will show more negative effects. Long-term effects include:

  • Malnourishment
  • Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s
  • Seizures
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Chronic sinus infections

Overdose is possible from cocaine use. A cocaine overdose cannot be reversed, meaning there is no medication to stop an overdose while it’s happening. Typical symptoms of an overdose include:

  • Increase body temperature
  • Profuse sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting

Seizures can occur due to the high increase in body temperature. An overdose can also cause heart attacks and strokes. If a cocaine overdose is ever suspected, seek medical attention immediately. Medical professionals can treat the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, but there is no way to lessen the amount of cocaine within the system.

Cocaine Treatment Options Available in Tampa, Florida

While cocaine can seem to have a grip on you now, it doesn’t have to last forever. At Clean Recovery Centers, our professional and dedicated staff know that recovery is possible, and reclaiming your life is always an option. We can work with you to plan the best course of treatment and allow you to get clean, live clean, and stay clean. Our recovery from cocaine addiction includes:

Cocaine Detox

Cocaine NoseWhile a medical detox is not always necessary for cocaine, the staff at Clean Recovery Centers is able to address any physical and mental concerns. Physical cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medications. The key is to have a strong support system, which can begin in group therapy at Clean Recovery Centers. Cocaine cravings can last months or even years, and having people to talk to can make a big difference in preventing relapse.

Residential Treatment

At Clean Recovery Centers, we have different residential treatment options. For cocaine use disorder, clients typically stay in residential I housing. This is supervised 24/7 and provides meals, structured schedules, and daily therapy to address the root causes of addiction. Our team is capable of diagnosing a mental health condition at any point in treatment, and we can adjust your program to fit those needs. Our facilities also offer community housing after residential I treatment is complete. You will never have to worry about having a place to stay. Our goal is to provide everything you will need in order to focus on healing.

Outpatient Rehab Services

Outpatient services are for our clients who are transitioning into lower levels of care. Clean Recovery Centers has housing options available for those who need it. Clients come to our facility for treatment and therapy then have the rest of the day to do what they would like. This program typically lasts 6-8 weeks.

If you or someone you love is managing a cocaine use disorder, help is available across the Suncoast. Clean Recovery Centers has multiple locations with housing options available, so the only thing you have to focus on is healing and becoming your true self. Case managers are standing by to help you figure out your life path without cocaine. Call us today at (888) 330-2532 to learn more about our facilities or to schedule an appointment.


What is a cocaine nose?

Cocaine nose refers to the damage inflicted by prolonged cocaine use. Some people will have a sunken nose and chronic breathing problems.

Why do people snort cocaine?

Snorting cocaine is one of the fastest methods in order to feel the effects on the mind. It also requires the least amount of paraphernalia.

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