Snorting Cocaine: Side Effects and Dangers

cocaine drug test

Cocaine users take it through many ways. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can give the user the feeling of euphoria when taken. However, just like other stimulants, this substance has side effects. Some of the cocaine side effects are life-threatening while others are not so dangerous. You cannot predict the type of side effect you will suffer when you abuse this drug for some time.

Like we mentioned above, cocaine can be ingested in many ways. The type of cocaine known as “crack” is combined with baking soda to make it hard so users can smoke it. Others prefer to dissolve it in water and then inject it into their bloodstream. However, the most popular method of taking cocaine is through snorting. Cocaine snorting involves inhaling the cocaine powder through the nose and then absorbed into the bloodstream. It is this process that causes what is known as cocaine nose.


Why Do People Snort Cocaine?

Most people snort cocaine because they want to feel the effect longer. When a user snorts cocaine, he can be able to feel the effect for as long as 15-30 minutes. This period is longer compared to when he takes it through injection or smoking.

However, most users like to enjoy the “high” for more than 30 minutes. Thus, some users go on binges where they increase the amount of cocaine in a small amount to maintain a consistent high.


Is Snorting Dangerous?

Snorting cocaine is dangerous. Apart from consequences, it can cause to the body. This activity can also lead to the damage of the nose. It can lead to a septal perforation or a “hole in the septum” which is a condition that is associated with snorting cocaine through the nose.

Moreover, the nose has a fragile blood supply, making it one of the worst places to ingest something. This weak blood supply is shut down when a user is snorting cocaine, and this process is called “Vasoconstriction” which means closing off of blood vessels. When this happens, there will be less oxygen delivered to the tissues of the septum. The decrease in the level of oxygen causes the septum lining to begin to die. When this happens, it would no longer have the ability to provide support to the cartilage underneath it, and so the cartilage will die as well. This condition is known as septal perforation.

This damage to the nose may start out as common nasal conditions such as nasal congestion, simple nose bleeds or sinus infection until it becomes full-blown. The harm or injury to the nose as a result of this process can lead to:

  • Nasal deformity
  • Nasal collapse
  • Chronic infections
  • Nosebleeds or epistaxis
  • Loss of smell or Anosmia
  • Perforated septum
  • Chronic infections
  • Nasal infections
  • Social isolation
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obstruct work performance
  • Nose whistling
  • Allergy exacerbation
  • Nasal obstruction


Symptoms of Cocaine Snorting

Some signs to identify individual snorting cocaine include:

  • Euphoria
  • Elevated mood
  • Mood swings
  • Runny nose
  • Sniffing
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Changes in sleep pattern

cocaine abuse


Dangers of Cocaine Snorting

Apart from problems that cocaine can cause to your health, the risks are doubled when they are mixed with other substances. Reports from various surveys show that cocaine are becoming stronger and dealers are now lacing it with other substances to increase the potency.

One of such substances is “levamisole” – a drug that is used to fight parasites in animals. Reports showed that the use of levamisole in cocaine has increased since it was first detected in 2001. Since this substance has the same look and feel as cocaine, it will be hard for users to recognize it. Cocaine mixed with levamisole can cause:

  1. Agranulocytosis: This is a serious blood disorder which can lead to severe immune system suppression and allows the body to get infected easily.
  2. Vasculitis: This is a problem which leads to inflammation of blood vessel, joint and muscle pain, as well as fever.
  3. The development of a condition known as bullae which is a painful fluid-filled sac on the stomach, face, legs, and back.


Treatment for Cocaine Snorting

To treat cocaine snorting, the user will have to treat his cocaine addiction. He needs an experienced therapist, a support group, and a good facility where he can undergo cocaine withdrawal.

You can use different methods to treat yourself of cocaine addiction. Some of these methods include:

  • Detox
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management


Recovery program takes time, and the user will need the support of his loved ones during this period. The user also needs to ensure that he will get the right treatment by checking into an advanced facility for treatment and recovery.


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