A person may place a line of the white powder on a flat surface and use a rolled-up piece of paper to quickly inhale the cocaine. Snorting the drug is a form of cocaine abuse.
This type of cocaine use greatly increases the feelings of euphoria associated with cocaine use. Chronic cocaine snorters may experience a range of effects and dangers from using this stimulant.
Side Effects Of Snorting Cocaine
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states the use of cocaine causes dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, to give the sensation of euphoria.
The effects of cocaine occur quickly and dissipate rapidly when the drug is snorted. This “high” doesn’t last very long, but is quite intense as it’s taking place.
The side effects of snorting cocaine are determined by the amounts of cocaine used as well as if the cocaine is mixed with other drugs.
Short-Term Side Effects
Some of the short-term effects caused by snorting cocaine include:
- extreme energy
- raised body temperature
- irregular or fast heart rate
- dilated pupils
- constricted blood vessels
Long-Term Side Effects
Those who participate in cocaine abuse may experience long-term effects such as:
- a chronic runny nose
- losing your sense of smell
- persistent sinus infections
- difficulty swallowing
Dangers Of Snorting Cocaine
In addition to the short-term and long-term effects of cocaine use, there are countless risks of this type of drug use. When used in large amounts or over a long period of time, cocaine can present certain dangers to your physical and mental health.
Damage To Your Nose
Over time, snorting cocaine can wreak havoc on your nose. Not only will you possibly experience the common side effects such as a runny nose or nosebleeds, but serious damage can also be caused to your nasal passageways as well.
It is possible that snorting cocaine can cause nasal septum perforation. When this takes place, cartilage and tissue in your nose can erode and tear. This can increase your risk of infection.
Any type of cocaine use may cause damage to your body, especially the cardiovascular system. The use of cocaine may lead to disturbances in your heart rhythm.
When this happens, you may experience an increase in blood pressure or even fluctuations. Cocaine abuse may further lead you to develop chest pain or experience a heart attack.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that cocaine use may result in severe medical complications such as intense abdominal pain and even seizures.
Because using cocaine causes changes in the brain in ways that affect mood, thinking, and behavior, mental illness is a concern for those who use this drug. In fact, continuous cocaine use may lead to hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
As a cocaine addiction grows, a person may turn to other routes of administration. This may involve smoking cocaine or watering down the powder to inject the drug intravenously.
When a person craves the “high” one experiences from cocaine use, they may engage in risky behavior such as sharing needles. This can lead to hepatitis, HIV, or other diseases.
Mixing Cocaine With Other Drugs
Combining cocaine with other drugs can lead to a number of health concerns. For instance, when cocaine and alcohol are mixed, the body converts them to cocaethylene, a toxic chemical which may cause heart or liver problems.
Mixing cocaine with opioids, benzodiazepines, or other legal or illegal drugs can have disastrous effects on your physical and mental health.
It is possible to overdose on cocaine. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), those with acute cocaine toxicity may need urgent treatment for:
- coronary vasospasm
If a cocaine overdose isn’t treated soon, life-threatening consequences may occur such as stroke, coma, or sudden death.
Withdrawal symptoms may occur once you choose to stop using the drug or seek treatment with detox. In addition to stronger cravings, someone suffering from cocaine withdrawal may experience a variety of symptoms such as:
- increased appetite
- feelings of discomfort
If you’re experiencing cocaine withdrawal, it’s likely time to find one of the treatment facilities in your area.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one are seeking drug addiction treatment, you can find numerous services at Northeast Addictions Treatment Center. At our treatment center, we provide:
- outpatient services
- group therapy
- behavioral health
- addiction resources
- aftercare options
To learn more about our treatment services, please contact our helpline today.
- BMJ Case Reports — Snorting the clivus away: an extreme case of cocaine-induced midline destructive lesion
- Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology — Smokers versus snorters: Do treatment outcomes differ according to route of cocaine administration?
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What is Cocaine?
- National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Cocaine Withdrawal
- National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Cocaine Toxicity
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.