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Snorting coke

Coke and your nose talks you through the damage regular snorting can do to your nose.

  • Your nose is separated into two chambers by the septum - this is the fleshy wall you can pinch between your fingers.

  • The inside of your hooter is also covered by a thin, sensitive layer called the mucous membrane. This works like a filter, and basically protects against infection whenever you inhale and sweep up stuff your body doesn't need, like dust motes, pollen, fluff particles... or coke.

  • In snorting cocaine, the drug is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream via the mucous membrane. One immediate effect within the membrane is to shrink the blood vessels. As a result, this sensitive lining becomes irritated and inflamed. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and nosebleeds.

  • If the mucous membrane becomes damaged due to cocaine misuse, (and also any substance with which it has been cut) it can impair the way that air is humidified before it reaches the lungs.

  • Continued misuse can cause sores to form in the membrane, and also perforation of the nasal septum. This is basically the appearance of a hole in the dividing wall that can continue to grow with your coke habit. If enough support is destroyed, the septum can collapse.

  • The damage is irreversible. Plastic surgery can improve the appearance of the nose, but patients are advised to seek treatment of the addiction before any attempt at reconstruction can be carried out.

Updated: 12/04/2010

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