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Does Drug Use Cause Nasal Perforation?

Chronic drug misuse can cause a wide range of symptoms and types of damage to the systems of the body. In many cases, the kind of damage relates directly to the way a drug is used. Substances can be swallowed, injected, smoked, or snorted. Injection of drugs leads to track marks on the arms, thighs, and other places. Smoke affects lung health. Also, snorting can result in various kinds of nasal damage, including perforation. If you or someone you know is abusing drugs and has nasal damage, seek a doctor’s help and also consider enrolling in an addiction treatment center.

Promises Behavioral Health offers quality treatment for both substance use and mental health disorders, including dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders. If you think you might be ready to have a conversation about starting recovery or at least looking into what rehab could do for you, reach out to us to ask all your questions. Whether you want information about drug use and nasal perforation or the differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab—we can help. Fill out the Promises online contact form or dial 844.875.5609 to connect with one of our staff.

Snorting Drugs – What and Why?

Certain addictive substances are commonly snorted, though most of them can be taken in a range of ways. Drugs often snorted include:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Heroin
  • Ketamine
  • MDMA (commonly called Molly)
  • PCP (Phencyclidine, also called angel dust)

Whereas injecting or smoking leads to a quicker and more intense high, snorting reaches the bloodstream somewhat more slowly and can prolong the high. The effects of a drug that is snorted are still much faster than ingestion, which is why people who become addicted to prescription medications often crush the pills into powder in order to snort them and feel the effects more quickly. Some commonly crushed and snorted medications include:

  • Benzos like Xanax or Valium
  • Sleeping pills like Ambien
  • Stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin
  • Opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin

The damage to the delicate tissues of the nasal cavity that can take place with chronic use is significant, however.

Does Drug Use Cause Nasal Perforation?

People who abuse or become addicted to drugs like meth and cocaine often snort them. Even people who prefer injection may resort to snorting if the damage to their blood vessels is so severe that finding a vein becomes problematic. Drug use and nasal perforation often go hand in hand. In fact, a longstanding addiction to certain drugs can result in several types of damage that are so severe that medical intervention is critical.

There are acute as well as chronic complications associated with snorting drugs. Since snorted drugs are composed of particulates, they create micro-injuries in the delicate skin of the nose and nasal passages.

Common issues related to snorting include:

  • Irritation of the nostrils
  • Chronic post-nasal drip
  • Sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Painful inflammation of the nasal mucosa
  • Nasal tissue necrosis
  • Nasal perforation

Nasal perforation involves the erosion of tissue between the nostrils and the development of a hole in the bony cartilage. It is painful and can be difficult to repair, especially larger separations. Repairs will not last if the source of the tissue degradation—snorting drugs—continues.

If you or someone you care about has been snorting drugs for a long time, there are even greater risks than nasal perforation to watch out for. These are subcutaneous emphysema, meaning air enters the tissues under the skin, and pneumomediastinum when air is trapped in the chest cavity but outside the lungs. Complications of these can be serious, such as:

  • Compressed airway
  • Pneumopericardium – when air invades the fluid sac that surrounds and protects the heart
  • Esophageal ruptures
  • Tracheal ruptures

These unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms are only one matter of concern. When health consequences are this significant due to drug use, addiction is also a major impediment to health and wellness.

Contact Promises Behavioral Health

Does drug use cause nasal perforation? That is a good starter question for anyone concerned about their misuse of drugs or worried about a friend or loved one who is in the danger zone of drug dependence and addiction. Often, it is a noticeable health concern that alerts people to the severity of someone’s drug use.

To ask more questions about substance use disorders and how Promises can help, reach out today. Our Promises online contact form is quick and easy, or you can call 844.875.5609.

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