Coke Nose – Nose Damage from Snorting Cocaine

A hole in the septum can be a symptom of an underlying illness such as cocaine use, which diminishes blood flow to the nose. This can cause the tissues to become inflamed and infected, leading to nosebleeds.

Coke Nose – Nose Damage from Snorting Cocaine

Cocaine nose, or coke nose, is a common side effect of snorting cocaine. An estimated 2 million Americans abuse cocaine, and each user risks developing coke nose with excessive and prolonged use of the drug. People who abuse cocaine typically do so by snorting powdered cocaine into their nose, where it absorbs into their bloodstream. However, snorting cocaine ultimately causes nasal damage and septal perforation.

The nose has a fragile blood supply, which is shut off by snorting cocaine. This process is called vasoconstriction (closing off of blood vessels). When the blood vessels constrict, the blood supply is compromised, delivering less oxygen to the tissues of the septum. With low oxygen, the septum lining starts to die. Once the lining dies, it can no longer support the cartilage underneath it, and the cartilage dies. 

Typically, the cocaine user will have early signs that a septal perforation may be imminent but may be unaware of the immediate danger, because early signs often mimic other benign nasal conditions such as simple nosebleeds, nasal congestion, increase in nasal discharge (rhinorrhea), sinus infection, and common allergy symptoms. Continue reading this article to learn more about cocaine effects on nose.

What is Coke Nose?

Snorting cocaine causes nasal defects ranging from minor septal perforation to loss of dorsal support, potentially leading to collapse of the entire nose. Snorting cocaine can lead to internal and external nasal deformities and if cocaine abuse is continued it will gradually destroy the septal cartilage. Coke nose is a sign of a larger addiction to cocaine, symbolizing that cocaine usage is affecting the person’s physical health and likely psychological and emotional health.

What Does Cocaine Do to Your Nose?

Recreational use of cocaine has become a common form of drug abuse in the United States. Although cocaine can be administered through a variety of routes, the intranasal route is the most common. This preference for insufflation exposes the nasal mucosa to the intense vasoconstrictive effects of cocaine and the myriad of caustic additives with which it is often mixed, thus causing varying degrees of damage to the nasal tract. What does coke do to your nose? These adverse effects range from a pinhole perforation to different degrees of mucosal ulceration, destruction of septal cartilage, and in extreme cases, destruction of nasal and maxillary bones.

What is Cocaine Nose Hole?

The nasal septum is the part of the nose that divides the left nostril from the right. And it runs all the way up the inside of your nose. It’s made of cartilage in the front and bone in the back. If it’s perforated, that means you have a hole through part of it. It opens a path from one side of your nose to the other.

A hole in the septum is relatively common among cocaine addicts. A hole can change the shape of the nose, cause serious breathing problems, and lead to chronic infections and pain. In some cases, damage to the septum can reduce support in the nose, destabilizing it and causing the nasal valve to collapse. This can make breathing difficult, and may cause further complications.

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Among people aged 12 or older, 1.9% (or about 5.2 million people) reported using cocaine in 2020. Among people aged 12 or older, 0.5% (or about 1.3 million people) had a cocaine use disorder in 2020. In 2020, approximately 19,447 people died from an overdose involving cocaine.

5.2 million

Among people aged 12 or older, 1.9% (or about 5.2 million people) reported using cocaine in 2020.

Source: NIH

1.3 million

Among people aged 12 or older, 0.5% (or about 1.3 million people) had a cocaine use disorder in 2020.

Source: NIH


In 2020, approximately 19,447 people died from an overdose involving cocaine.

Source: NIH

Cocaine Drug Facts


Cocaine is a stimulant drug obtained from the leaves of two Coca species native to South America, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense.

Common Street Names for Cocaine

Cocaine base (smokable): Base, black rock, crack, electric kool-aid, rock, gravel, purple caps, Scotty, scramble, supercoke, twinkie, window pane, yam

Cocaine HCl: Aspirin, Big C, blow, coconut, coke, devil’s dandruff, flake, Florida snow, foo-foo dust, happy dust, lady, nose candy, white dragon, white lady, yao

Cocaine paste: Basuco, bazooka, pasta

Cocaine + heroin: Belushi, bipping, blanco, boy-girl, dynamite, goof ball, he-she, murder one, sandwich, snowball, speedball

Cocaine + marijuana: 51, banano, bazooka, blunt, C & M, candy sticks, caviar, champagne, cocktail, cocoa puff, crack bash, dirties, geek-joint, Greek, lace, P-dogs, premos, primo, Sherman stick, woo blunts, woolie

Cocaine + MDMA (ecstasy): Bumping up

Cocaine + MDMA + LSD: Candy flipping on a string

Cocaine + morphine: C & M

Cocaine + heroin + methamphetamine + flunitrazepam + alcohol: Five-way

Cocaine Short Term Effects of Cocaine

  • Extreme happiness and energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Some long-term health effects of cocaine depend on the method of use and include the following:

  • snorting: loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing
  • smoking: cough, asthma, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections like pneumonia
  • consuming by mouth: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
  • needle injection: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, as well as scarring or collapsed veins

Cocaine Use Statistics

Cocaine is a highly addictive illegal drug used by 14-21 million people worldwide. In 2018 there are 874,000 new cocaine users. Users can be from all economic statuses, all ages, and all genders. Since cocaine is combined or ‘cut’ with other chemicals, people have no idea if the dose will be weak or strong.

What is Hole in Nose from Coke Symptoms?

Nasal congestion is the most common symptom of a deviated septum (coke nose hole). One nostril is typically more congested than the other. Hole in nose from coke symptoms includes:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Recurrent sinus infections
  • Crusty or dry nasal passages
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Loud snoring
  • Postnasal drip
  • Facial pain

If a cocaine septum hole is present, some people may even hear a whistling sound when air passes through the perforated septum. Since a perforated septum is otherwise uncommon, its presence may strongly indicate inhaled drug use.

coke nose
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Why Does Cocaine Make Your Nose Bleed?

Does coke make your nose bleed? Snorting powder cocaine can cause nasal problems like permanent physical damage or nose bleeds. Nose bleeds from cocaine abuse are a common side effect of snorting the drug. Why does cocaine cause nose bleeds? Cocaine nose bleeds are due to a couple of different factors. Snorting cocaine can both irritate the skin and harm the blood vessels in the nose. The nasal cavity is an area of high blood flow. The tissue in this area is relatively thin. When physical damage to the tissue occurs because of snorting cocaine, nosebleeds result. High blood pressure in a cocaine user will also contribute to cocaine nose bleed.

Does Cocaine Make Your Nose Run?

Why does cocaine make your nose run? Cocaine and the additives or impurities within it can lead to irritation in the nose. This leads to increased mucus production that causes “cocaine stuffy nose” and “cocaine runny nose”. Although managing your runny nose is a quick fix, it won’t stop your nose from becoming damaged by repeated drug use.

You may find that a runny nose or nose sores from snorting drugs are accompanied by other symptoms, such as a post-nasal drip. This is the sensation that there’s a downward dripping of mucus from the back of your nose. This can be accompanied by headaches, fever, sinus pressure, a sore throat, sneezing, coughing, or feel congested – a similar feeling to when you have a terrible flu.

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How to Heal a Hole in Your Nose from Coke?

The standard treatment for a deviated septum is surgical. However, the best preventative and maintenance therapy is eliminating the primary cause of your deviated septum—chronic cocaine use.

Deviated Septum Surgery

How to fix hole in nose from coke? People who are experiencing severe discomfort from a deviated septum can typically fix the problem with cocaine nose surgery. The procedure is called “septoplasty” and involves trimming, repositioning, and substituting nasal bone and cartilage. Septoplasty has been reported as having a success rate of 89%—where patients experienced significantly decreased nasal symptoms as a result of the cocaine nose surgery.

What You Should Know About Septoplasty

Here are some things you should know if you are considering septoplasty to treat your deviated nasal septum:

  • The surgery takes about 60-90 minutes, and you will most likely go home the same day.
  • You may experience drainage or swelling for several days after the surgery.
  • Some individuals have septoplasty in combination with rhinoplasty (to fix the nose’s appearance) or with sinus surgery (to repair associated sinus problems).
  • Errant cartilage or a bone blocking the airway is repositioned or removed.
  • Risks of septoplasty include infection, bleeding, breathing problems, scarring, or recurrent nasal blockage.
  • Packing material or splints may be used inside the nose to prevent nosebleeds and keep the septum and mucous membrane in place.
  • Packing material is usually taken out 24-36 hours after surgery.
  • For best results, septoplasty should be performed after age 15, when the nose has stopped growing. This could be even later in boys.
  • For minor cases, balloon septoplasty (using an inflatable catheter to open up the collapsed nasal/sinus passage) can be done in an office setting without actually having to perform surgery.
coke nose
A hole in the septum can be a symptom of an underlying illness such as cocaine use, which diminishes blood flow to the nose.

How to get rid of coke nose? most important thing in the healing of nasal injuries is stopping the use of cocaine.  This allows the blood vessels to recover, which will allow the lining to recover.  However, once a septal perforation occurs, stopping cocaine alone will not make it resolve.  The hole in the septum will be prone to infection and will naturally get bigger over time. This can affect the appearance of the nose, producing what is called a “saddle nose.” The voice may also be affected, with audible whistling through the perforation and an altered nasal resonance.

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How To Get Rid of Clogged Nose from Coke?

Applying petroleum jelly to the edge of your nostril, can soothe your nose and prevent irritation. How long does cocaine stay in your nose? When you snort cocaine, it sits on your nasal mucosa for several minutes, so doing a simple rinse can go a long way. You can pick up saline nasal rinses at any drug or grocery store. Use a few pumps of the saline rinse to wash the lingering cocaine off your nasal mucosa. Keep a tissue handy to pat the skin around your nose dry — wet skin is more likely to get irritated. Follow up with some petroleum jelly for added protection.

coke nose
If you have a hole in your septum, the first step in healing it is to stop using cocaine. 

Does Coke Burn Your Nose?

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 individuals may 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.

How to Cure Coke Nose?

If you are suffering from any of the coke nose symptoms mentioned on this page, we advise you to seek help immediately, because ignoring a runny nose or sores in the nasal passages can lead to severe damage of the septum. If you are experiencing trouble breathing, a foreign body in your nose, a nosebleed that takes a long time to stop, or a high fever, then call the emergency services and seek professional advice.

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Cocaine Addiction Treatment

First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing cocaine, you should research the substances and their associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs.  Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of cocaine addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of cocaine withdrawal

Cocaine Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated cocaine detox withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the cocaine detox.

Cravings are very common during drug detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Cocaine Addiction Rehab

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using cocaine and other substances, but drug rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.


Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy program, yoga for addiction recovery, or an addiction treatment massage therapy.

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. Traumatic experiences can often result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our opioid addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Cocaine Rehab Near Me

Cocaine addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems, such as an overdose. We Level Up NJ rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and clarify issues like cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

coke nose
For people who use cocaine regularly, a consistent and long-term solution toward recovery is required
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