Here’s What Happens When You Snort Cocaine

Using cocaine in small amounts – about up to 100 mg – can give feelings of empowerment and euphoria. It also provides an unusual surge of energy and a decreased need for rest and food. There are some people who believe that snorting cocaine can help them do simple intellectual and physical tasks a little bit faster. But other users experience the opposite effects.

Given these contradictory experiences, it is best to know what happens to the brain the moment a person snorts cocaine and how it affects the body.


How Does Cocaine Work?

Cocaine speeds up the central nervous system (CNS). Once a person snorts the substance, it enters the body through the blood vessels located inside the nose. It then goes into the bloodstream and moves all throughout the body until it comes across the blood-brain barrier.

When it enters the brain, the drug prevents dopamine from recycling, leading to an excessive build up between nerve cells. This is why one feels an intense high after snorting cocaine – the flood of neurotransmitter dopamine disrupts the brain’s normal communication.

How Fast Does It Work?

How long before its effects begin to kick in is dependent on how the cocaine was taken. Snorting cocaine reaches the brain at a slower rate compared to smoking the drug. If snorted, it will take several seconds for the substance to cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, it will still take about 30 minutes for someone to feel the peak of its effects.

There are several short-term effects from snorting cocaine, which include:

  1. hallucinations
  2. dilated pupils
  3. indifference to fatigue and pain
  4. exhilaration
  5. paranoia
  6. increased energy and confidence
  7. loss of appetite
  8. increased temperature
  9. mental alertness

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Is this Bad for You?

There is no doubt that snorting cocaine is bad for you given its short and long-term effects on the brain and body.

In some cases, people who snorted cocaine for the first time had fatal results. Cocaine use accounts for numerous visits to the emergency room because of the damage it causes to the heart, brain, lungs, blood vessels. It can even lead to sudden death. Snorting cocaine for a much longer period can lead to damaging effects, such as:

  1. heart problems
  2. brain chemical imbalance
  3. loss of smell
  4. chronic infections
  5. nasal deformity
  6. nose damage (septal perforation)
  7. constructed blood vessels
  8. insomnia
  9. paranoia
  10. nosebleeds
  11. restlessness
  12. over-excitability
  13. weight loss

Dealing with “Hole in Your Nose”

Among the visible forms of negative effects from snorting cocaine is a septal perforation or also known as a hole in the septum. This damaged nose is a condition stemming from sniffing or snorting cocaine through the nose for a long period of time. Most chronic cocaine users suffer from this condition.

How Does Septal Perforation Happen?

The nose is filled with sensitive and delicate blood supply, which shuts off because of cocaine use. The substance closes the blood vessels causing it to narrow down. When this happens, the blood supply becomes insufficient, thus, there is a lower supply of oxygen level to the septum’s tissues.

A decrease in the oxygen levels means the septum lining slowly dies along with the cartilage found beneath it. This results in a hole in the septum, which is a structural base and support of the nose. In the event the septum is filled with small holes, the nose stops to function.

Numerous cocaine users develop early signs of this condition. The septal perforation is manageable only with the intervention of a surgeon who specializes in the condition. Sadly, once holes develop in the septum, it is unable to heal itself.

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Is It Dangerous to Snort Cocaine?

Yes, it is dangerous. Cocaine is considered one of the deadliest drugs available and snorting it is among the lead causes of many overdose accidents. Some of the most common and severe side effects of overdose involve the nerves, heart, and blood vessels. There are also instances when using cocaine can trigger irregular heart rhythm, seizures, heart attacks or strokes.

It is hard to know for sure whether the cocaine you purchase and use is pure. Even experienced users will not know if what they are taking is of pure quality. The dilemma is when you are used to snorting a lower quality of cocaine and you suddenly get hold of a purer drug. These instances can cause a person to easily overdose. Immediate medical assistance must be given in case this happens.

Get the assistance of medical professionals if you notice the following signs of a cocaine overdose in a person:

  1. delirium
  2. anxiety
  3. agitation
  4. delusions
  5. paranoia
  6. panic
  7. hallucinations
  8. dehydration
  9. delusions
  10. extreme sweating
  11. extreme heartbeat
  12. very strong headaches
  13. tachycardia (very fast heart rate)

There is always a risk of developing an addiction once a person begins using cocaine. It does not matter if the drug is injected, smoked or snorted as cocaine has the ability to speedily enter the bloodstream and force its way to the brain’s chemistry.

How Effective is Snorting Cocaine?

Snorting cocaine is pretty much effective in giving a person a high. However, doing so is considered less effective compared to smoking cocaine. This is because it gives a milder euphoria and slower onset. No matter how the drug is taken, people should always remember that using cocaine comes with a cost.

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Is Snorting Cocaine Common?

Yes, snorting is one of the common ways to take the drug. But cocaine is an illegal, highly dangerous and immensely addictive substance. Snorting cocaine comes with numerous serious complications and health problems. It is even associated with overdose and death.

Seek Help for Cocaine Addiction

In case of cocaine addiction, don’t wait for you or your loved to suffer from an overdose and other similar fatal effects. Treatment programs are available to help you quit the habit, detoxify your body, and provide you with the necessary skills to battle relapse. The road to sobriety is challenging, but it is something that can be won.

Rehab facilities provide the necessary and much-needed help for you or your loved one to emerge as victors against cocaine addiction. At Chapters Capistrano, we consider the entire picture that led to the addiction in order to provide you with an all-encompassing approach to recovery.

There is no need to feel hopeless about falling into the trap of cocaine addiction. There is help. We can help.

Get in touch with us today to know more about how we could be of service to you.

Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-276-2886 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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