Cocaine nose bleed is caused by repetitive nasal insufflation or “snorting” of cocaine. Cocaine, a very addictive stimulant drug, can be ingested in a variety of ways. Snorting is the most common form of ingestion. Snorting is also referred to as “bumping”, “railing” and “dozing”.
Why is cocaine snorted?
Snorting cocaine requires little prep time and provides an immediate rush to the user. Snorting allows the body to absorb the drug quickly and more completely into the blood stream. When snorted, cocaine travels through the mucous membrane of the nose and sinus cavities. Some of the cocaine however will “drip” down from the nasal cavity into the throat. From the throat it will flow down into the stomach and gastrointestinal tract where it will be absorbed further. For some users, cocaine drip has an unpleasant taste.
Why do cocaine nose bleeds occur?
Cocaine nose bleed is caused by constant damage to the nasal tissues and by the rupture of delicate blood vessels. 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.
Drugs such as cocaine, have terrible effects on the body. During a cocaine nose bleed, blood can flow down into the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting. Nose bleed is only one effect of snorting cocaine. Other effects of snorting cocaine over time include chronic runny nose, loss of smell, hoarseness and difficulty swallowing (due to drip). There is also an increased risk of contracting Hepatitis C nasally if exposed to contaminated preparation equipment.
Long-term, chronic cocaine use can result in the complete destruction of the nasal septum, the divider between the nostrils inside the nose. Destruction of the nasal septum must be treated with corrective surgery. Some cocaine nosebleeds require urgent care to stop the flow of blood if it will not stop on its own. However, nose bleeds are very rarely fatal.