Cocaine is a very addictive, and illegal, central nervous system stimulant drug that is derived from a plant called a coca leaf that is native to South America. More than 100 years ago, the purified chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, was isolated from the plant and used as an active main ingredient in many tonics and elixirs that were used to treat many different illnesses. Surgeons also used it as a way to block pain before local anesthetics were created.
Nowadays, cocaine is a schedule II drug, which means it has a very high potential for abuse and addiction. As a street drug, it normally comes in a powdery white form. Cocaine dealers often dilute this drug with other substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, or baking soda as a way to increase their profits.
Health Effects from Snorting Cocaine
The most common way that cocaine is abused is by snorting the drug through the nose. Many people also shoot cocaine directly into their veins or smoke it. While you do not feel the high as quickly when the drug is snorted, you do feel the effects for much longer. When cocaine is snorted, it coats the soft tissues in the nose and gets absorbed into the user’s bloodstream. To feel the effects of this drug, it has to enter a person’s bloodstream and flow to the brain. Once cocaine makes it to the brain, it binds to certain receptors in the brain making sure that dopamine isn’t being removed as it normally would be.
Dopamine is essentially the feel-good chemical that your body produces when doing enjoyable things. Cocaine creates a euphoric and energized effect when used that lasts for about 30 minutes.
Snorting cocaine does burn your nose. It will burn your nostrils when it is first inhaled before becoming numb and dripping through your nasal cavity and down your throat, causing numbness in those areas as well. Many people enjoy the initial burn and the feeling of the cocaine running down their nasal cavity and into their throat. This is because cocaine is a local anesthetic.
Dangers of Snoring Cocaine
Cocaine doesn’t just burn your nose as you snort it, it can burn a hole right through your nose. After prolonged use, one of the most common long-term effects is a septal perforation or a hole in the septum. With low oxygen getting to the nose due to snorting cocaine, the septum lining will begin to die. Once this lining dies, it will no longer be able to support the cartilage that is underneath, and that will die too.
Once a septum has perforated, the nose can collapse because the septum is what supports the structure of the nose. Once septal perforation is present, it will never heal on its own. Cocaine users can often be unaware of perforation because the early signs often mimic other nasal conditions. Nose bleeds, sinus infections, nasal congestion, and allergy symptoms are all early symptoms of perforation.
Get the Help You Need With Cocaine Abuse
The best and safest option to getting off cocaine is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Garden State Treatment Center. We offer treatment that provides therapeutic education and guidance for each individual to help them safely reintegrate into society. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs.
Addiction treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. You do not have to face getting sober from cocaine on your own. Our admissions counselors and addiction professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it!