Coke Nose

Coke Nose

Identifying and Getting Help for Cocaine Nose Damage

Fewer drugs have as much of a societal impact and urban lore as cocaine. For years, cocaine abuse has been at the forefront of America’s battle against addiction, having exploded during the disco era of the 1970s, but dating back as far as the 1930s and 40s with dental and medical applications of the drug.

There are many clever monickers for cocaine that involve the nose – booger sugar, catching the Colombian Cold, nose candy, sniff, toot, and others. And while in some circles these nicknames are used light-heartedly, there’s nothing light-hearted about the damage from “coke nose.”

Cocaine abuse takes place in many shapes and forms. Because sniffing the drug is considered a “rich man’s drug,” very little attention and awareness is brought to the dangers of insufflating cocaine and the damage done to the nasal cavity.

The impact of smoking crack and injecting cocaine are well-documented – but in this article, you’ll learn about the nasal septum, blood vessels, and the damage to all of the above as a result of “cocaine nose and its related issues.”

Plus you’ll get proven treatment options at South Shores Detox and Recovery to offer support for yourself or a loved one if cocaine has become a problem!

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The Stigma and America’s Love Affair with Sniffing Cocaine

In circles that engage in cocaine use, generally, there’s always some type of inside joke involved when people sniff their noses in public. Often considered solely recreational, sniffing cocaine is far from the light-hearted good time some people make it out to be.

The fact is, while these people are joking about having the sniffles or Colombian Cold, irreversible damage is being done to their blood vessels and nasal cavity. This is one of the most prominent, yet forgotten issues related to this form of drug abuse.

Over time, cocaine use can have a major impact on the nasal septum, the sinus system, and nasal lining, and even cause septal perforation and severe deformities to the face and nasal area. In the most severe cases, minor surgery, cartilage grafts – and everything to major reconstructive surgery when the nose collapses – are all results of snorting cocaine.

Certain signs and symptoms manifest before the damage grows to this level – but it’s important that you’re aware of what these signs are. The following section outlines what to look for if you or someone else you know regularly abuses cocaine and suffers from cocaine addiction.

Understanding Cocaine Nose and the Impact of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

When cocaine is insufflated, it passes through the nose, grazing the nasal lining until it reaches the brain. It’s a powerful method of ingestion when it comes to cocaine use, but on a daily basis, it’s causing great harm to cocaine abusers – or “recreational users” everywhere.

How Does the Damage to the Nasal Lining Take Place When Snorting Cocaine?

Cocaine use tightens the blood flow to the minor vessels throughout the nasal structure. This blood supply restriction ultimately restricts the oxygen flow, and cells in the nasal lining begin to perish.

As these cells die, the nasal lining and the cartilage that’s fed by these blood vessels sustain significant damage. Surgical intervention is required in the worst scenarios. However, other conditions manifest before the severity reaches this level.

Symptoms of cocaine addiction include:

  • Palatal perforation: A hole in the roof of your mouth
  • Loss of smell: This can be a for a short-term period or end up being permanent.
  • Sinusitis: Long-term inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passage
  • Nosebleeds: Generally happen frequently and are accompanied by a burning feeling.
  • Jaw issues from cocaine: Such as bruxism (grinding), or TMJ
  • Nasal septum perforation or deviation: This is a hole in the septum, leading to voice changes, facial irritation and pain, and difficulty breathing and swallowing.

These are the short-term symptoms that cocaine causes. The long-term effects are far more grave. After long-term use that goes untreated, users experience:

  • Total collapse and tightening of the blood supply to the nose
  • The death of critical tissue in the nose
  • Long-term and permanent sinus infections
  • The bridge of the nose collapses
  • Uncontrollable nose bleeding

Our Treatment Options for Snorting Cocaine

Treatment Options for Snorting Cocaine

The type of therapy and treatment available for those who have suffered at the hands of cocaine varies, depending on the severity of the situation. However, the most common courses of action include:

  • Medication Options: This reduces some of the swelling and discomfort associated with cocaine abuse. This is applied as a topical ointment most of the time.
  • Behavioral Therapy. Damage done to the body as a result of cocaine abuse can have a profound impact on the mental state of the user. Because surgery can leave noticeable scars, or the damage is greater than what the surgery can cover, users suffer confidence issues and end up with chronic depression and even PTSD. Certain types of behavioral therapy and mental health counseling may help curb these challenges.
  • The final option after attempting every other medicinal option available for cocaine damage is surgery. This surgery can either be to repair the hard palate in the mouth, completely reshape the nose, and repair even attempt grafts.
24 Hour Cocaine Detox and Rehab Helpline – Call Now!
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Recognizing Potential Cocaine Addiction

These are additional symptoms you might notice if you or someone you love suffers from long-term cocaine addiction. They must be closely monitored in order for you to pick up on these changes, as sometimes they are minute in the beginning. Take a look at the following areas, and seek help when you notice any (or all) of the following traits.

Shifts In the Face

A change in the way someone appears in the facial area can be a telltale sign. Specific side effects may be:

  • Nose swelling: Many users with cocaine addiction face challenges with a swollen nose when they use cocaine. This is due to the irritation to the sinuses and other areas.
  • Sunken bridge: This is one of the most common moderate symptoms. After a lengthy amount of time abusing cocaine, individuals may develop a changing form to their nasal bridge.
  • Distorted nose shape: The shape of the nose can undergo profound change as a result of a loss of the vital cartilage that supports it.

Changes In Behavior

Behavioral changes are generally the first symptoms that manifest in anybody who is abusing cocaine. Besides a runny nose, you may notice one of these, or a combination of them all that could indicate an underlying problem.

  • Constant rubbing or touching the nose. This is another issue that leads to swelling of the nose. When a user ingests cocaine, the nose may burn or have a painful sensation. These actions can be almost involuntary at times.
  • A shroud of secrecy. Those who abuse cocaine may try to keep their habit a secret – or keep it under wraps with a small circle of people who abuse the drug with them. You’ll often wonder about their whereabouts and catch them in lies about things that seem insignificant.

Finding Help and Resources for Cocaine Nose and Cocaine Use

If you or someone you love suffers from cocaine use and the corresponding damage done from cocaine nose, the first step to correcting the problem is seeking treatment for cocaine abuse. There are options available that solely correct cocaine nose – but what good is fixing the physical issue without addressing the underlying mental disorder?

First, you must seek some type of inpatient or outpatient treatment. Typically, inpatient is the most effective, garnering the most impactful results. However, outpatient may be suitable if your addiction is less severe.

Explore Your Physical Options

Nose Surgery


After enrolling in some type of treatment for cocaine, you can begin exploring your options for actual physical repair. If the problem has grown too large, you’ll have to bite the bullet and get some form of surgery. Whatever the case may be, it’s vital that you find a reputable physician to conduct the procedure.

Any type of reconstruction or cosmetic surgery brings multiple unsatisfactory doctors to the forefront, offering discounts on certain surgeries that put you at high risk for long-term impacts.

Get reviews, talk to people who have done business with them in the past, and ensure that they’re properly certified.

This seems like a lot of work and honestly, it is. You could also do the easy thing and call South Shores Recovery, where we’ll help you with every facet of relief for cocaine abuse. We’ve helped hundreds of clients repair both the mental and physical damage done by stimulants over the years, and the results have been truly life-changing and dramatic in many cases.

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CALL US AT: 833-213-3869

Choose South Shores for Support to Overcome Cocaine

South Shores Detox and Recovery has been providing users in the Orange County area with options for relief for cocaine abuse for years. We’ll help you create a personalized treatment plan that helps you achieve the best form of recovery that works for you.

In addition, we can also include treatment for coke nose as part of your plan, ensuring you find the proper professional team to help you along your journey to regain your confidence and health!

For more information, contact our admissions team today!