As many as 7.5 million people have used cocaine once in their life. Millions of people are currently addicted to this illegal substance. Since the preferred method of using cocaine is through snorting, the nose suffers the greatest side effects. The following is what cocaine does to the nose when it’s snorted.
About the Nose
Your nose has two chambers. Dividing the nose vertically down the middle is the septum. You can feel this when you put your two fingers in your nose and pinch it. There’s also a thin layer lining your nose called the mucous membrane. This membrane, along with your nose hair, serves as a filter protecting you from dust and germs.
When cocaine is snorted, the mucous membrane is what enables absorption into the bloodstream. This process shrinks the blood vessels causing irritation and inflammation. Cocaine users often experience sneezing, a runny nose, chronic nasal congestion, and regular nosebleeds.
Over time, the mucous membrane becomes damaged and isn’t as effective in filtering what is breathed through the nostrils. This leads to an increase in exposure to germs, toxins, etc., which pass right through into the lungs. This can make users more susceptible to illnesses and diseases.
In addition, the irritation can cause sores to form on the mucous membrane. These are painful and don’t go away easily, especially with continued cocaine use.
These sores can lead to perforation of the nasal septum. A perforation is a tear or hole that will continue to grow larger as cocaine use is continued. In severe cases due to long-term use of cocaine, the septum can even collapse
Repairing Cocaine Damage to the Nose
Nasal damage from cocaine is permanent. Even after stopping use, the nose will not repair itself. A rhinoplasty can help repair the damage, but this is only a consideration if the person is in recovery. If cocaine is used again after rhinoplasty, the damage will recur.
Learn More about Rhinoplasty after Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is a serious condition. Addiction treatment is highly recommended and life saving. Even after detox treatment and discharge from a drug treatment facility, decreasing and curing psychological dependence takes time. Recovery is a hard road, but it’s worth it to be free from addiction.
If you or a loved one has dealt with cocaine addiction, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Our plastic and cosmetic surgeons will evaluate nasal damage from cocaine use and offer surgical solutions.
We understand you’ve been through a lot over the years and we are happy that you have come this far. We want to help you improve the quality of your life by giving you a nose that functions again.
Give us a call at our Manhattan or Commack, Long Island offices. We have appointments available Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Saturdays.
We look forward to celebrating your recovery with you!