Cocaine is a potent, addictive stimulant drug that gives users a burst of energy and euphoria. But using cocaine can cause short and long-term health complications, including abuse and addiction.
Snorting cocaine has unique risks to your health. For example, snorting cocaine can lead to nosebleeds, nasal damage, increased risk of infection, and more.
If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, please reach out to the Arise Treatment Center specialists today to learn more about starting one of our comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment programs.
10 Dangers of Snorting Cocaine
Cocaine’s powerful stimulant effects increase activity in the central nervous system (CNS). While cocaine is sometimes used in a medical setting, it is most often abused by people who want its pleasurable effects.
Snorting cocaine is among the most common ways to ingest this potent stimulant because it provides a quick high. However, this method of ingestion has many dangerous effects.
Here are ten of the most significant dangers of snorting cocaine.
1. Heart problems
Using central nervous stimulants always comes with risks. Cocaine is an especially addictive CNS stimulant, and users tend to take it over and over again. Repeated episodes of snorting cocaine can result in serious–sometimes life-threatening–cardiovascular problems, including:
- Chest pain
- Racing heart
- Hardened arteries
- High blood pressure
- Aortic dissection–a tear in the aorta
- Heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
2. Risk of stroke
Heavy, prolonged cocaine use has been associated with an increased risk of strokes. Cocaine constricts blood vessels and can cause blood flow to be interrupted or stopped, which can lead to a stroke.
People who snort cocaine may develop unhealthy eating habits or may not eat enough to sustain their body’s needs. Snorting cocaine can lead to addiction, resulting in a chaotic, unregulated lifestyle. People may spend their time and money getting and using cocaine instead of focusing on eating well and making good choices about their overall health. People who use cocaine may lose significant amounts of weight or develop an unhealthy diet of ultra-processed convenience foods. Over time, this can contribute to malnutrition, lowered immunity, and unhealthy body composition.
4. Liver and kidney damage
The liver and kidneys are strained by repeated cocaine use. In time, these vital organs can suffer damage that dramatically harms a person’s health and functioning. Sometimes, damage can be reversed when people stop using cocaine and get appropriate care. However, permanent damage is possible.
5. Gastrointestinal problems
Cocaine is hard on all bodily systems, including the GI tract. The effects of cocaine on the heart and blood vessels can result in internal bleeding throughout the body–including in the stomach and intestines. Internal bleeding can sometimes be so severe that it becomes life-threatening. People with any signs of internal bleeding must seek emergency medical care to avoid death.
6. Pregnancy complications
Pregnant people who snort cocaine put themselves and their unborn babies at risk. Snorting cocaine during pregnancy could result in severe complications, including:
- High blood pressure
- Preterm labor
- Separation of the placental lining before delivery
- Challenging delivery
7. Sinus issues
Some people refer to sinus problems caused by snorting cocaine as “coke nose” because of how common these issues are. Snorting cocaine causes a repeated lack of blood supply to the nasal membranes, resulting in severe, often permanent damage. People who snort cocaine may experience:
- Sinus infections
- Chronic runny nose
- Deteriorated skin around the nasal passages
- Collapsed nasal bridge
- Loss of smell
- Frequent nose bleeds
- Nasal disfiguration
- Nasal pain
8. Breathing problems
Snorting cocaine can cause significant lung damage and other breathing issues. Repeated exposure to cocaine can result in the death of nasal tissues and a higher risk of respiratory infections.
9. Mental health problems
Snorting cocaine can lead to a quick, intense high and make people want to use it more frequently. Over time, this can lead to addiction. Repeated cocaine use is associated with mental health complications, including hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, and psychosis. The more cocaine someone uses, the greater their risk of developing new or worsening existing mental health problems.
A cocaine overdose occurs when someone has taken a dose of the drug that is enough to cause substantial, possibly life-threatening harm or death. Anyone can overdose on cocaine, even if it is their first time using it. The risk of cocaine overdose increases if people mix it with alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
Signs of a cocaine overdose include:
- High body temperature
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme agitation or anxiety
An overdose is a medical emergency. If you or someone near you exhibits signs of a cocaine overdose, call 911 immediately and wait with them until help arrives.
Get Cocaine Addiction Treatment Now
If you or someone you love struggles with cocaine abuse or addiction, you are not alone. Reach out to the addiction specialists at Arise Treatment Center today to explore our holistic, effective cocaine rehab programs.
Don’t wait another day to get the help you need and deserve. Take the first step of your recovery journey today.
- National Library of Medicine: Acute and Chronic Effects of Cocaine on Cardiovascular Health, Retrieved August 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6387265/
- National Library of Medicine: Gastrointestinal manifestations of cocaine addiction, Retrieved August 2023 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8205375/
- JAMA Network: Nasal Symptoms Associated With Cocaine Abuse During Adolescence, Retrieved August 2023 from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/617023