Runny Nose or Nose Sores (If Snorting Drugs)

Page last updated 22 May 2020

If you have recently snorted drugs and are worried about a sore or running nose, there are a few options we will talk you through that you can try. These treatments will offer a short-term solution to stop the nasal irritation.

Although managing your runny nose is a quick fix, it won’t stop your nose from becoming damaged by repeated drug use.

So, if your nose is continually running, bleeding, or contains sores, or the reason you inhaled drugs was because you craved an immediate hit, one of the best remedies you can reach for is a phone. Speaking to a professional about rehab treatment will ensure that your body is free from harmful substances and can heal itself back to health.

Is a runny nose common?

As humans, we’re great at ‘optimism bias’, which is a term that describes believing nothing bad can ever happen to us. So, if you know people who have snorted for fun and never experienced a problem or become addicted, it’s reasonable to assume that the same drugs will have no or minor physical effect on you. But cocaine, heroin and cannabis will affect people differently, and it’s possible for drugs to cause physical health issues, in addition to the impact it has on your lifestyle and emotional wellbeing.

Why does snorting drugs affect my nose?

Drugs are used to affect your normal bodily functions. You may use them to keep you awake for longer or to release dopamine in the brain for euphoric feeling. Although your intention may be for the drugs to affect only the brain, drugs also have an impact on anything they touch before they reach that destination – including your respiratory system. The respiratory system is made up of your nose, mouth, throat and lungs. And if your choice of high is to snort the drug, then you are directly placing a harmful substance into the area that allows you to breathe.

Snorting these substances irritates the lining of the nose as it travels into your system. This can cause rhinorrhea, which means excess mucus drains from the nose and continually makes it run. Nose sores are also a horrible side effect that you can get from snorting cocaine, which can be painful and irritating. If you take the drug frequently, it can eventually lead to septal perforation, which means it destroys the lining that separates your nostrils.

Possible complications from snorting drugs

In addition to being destructive substances, most powdered drugs on the market are mixed with impurities, such as talcum powder and local anaesthetic, to dilute the drug and cheapen the production line. Even if you buy what you think is pure cocaine or heroin, there could be a variety of toxins added into the powder that you are unintentionally putting into your body. Repeatedly putting this substance up your nose can eventually lead to a loss of sense of smell, sinusitis, sniffling, and nose bleeds. And if these toxins reach your lungs, the consequences could be far worse.

Accompanying symptoms and dangers

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.

These symptoms can irritate your sinuses and prevent you from sleeping. If this persists, the resulting insomnia may lead to more severe conditions, such as an increased chance in developing depression and anxiety, poor memory, decreased sex drive, and a shortened life expectancy.

How to manage nasal problems caused by drugs

If your runny nose is becoming unbearable, then you could try rinsing your nasal cavity with a saltwater solution; this can either be made at home or bought in a packet. Nasal rinses and nasal sprays are also an option, which you can get over the counter at a pharmacy. If these don’t work, try completely clearing your nose of any products, including drugs and medicines. Avoid putting anything in your nose for a couple of weeks to see if the nostrils clear up by themselves.

If this doesn’t work, then you should call the emergency services and seek professional advice from a doctor.

When should I see a professional?

If you are suffering from any of the 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.

But be aware that the treatment of any condition that develops as a result of drug abuse usually requires that the addiction is treated before they take action. So, you must be ready and willing to tackle your drug habit.

What is the best solution for nasal sores and respiratory system problems?

We recommend that instead of spending your money on drugs and short-term solutions, you put that money towards a life-changing treatment programme, instead. Booking into a rehabilitation centre will stop the cravings before you damage your body beyond repair and will allow you to take control of your addiction for good.

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