Insufflation or snorting drugs is a more efficient means of administration than taking them orally.
Snorting introduces drugs to the mucous linings of the nose where they are absorbed into the blood stream bypassing the less efficient digestive system. While snorting drugs is more efficient means of administering drugs it does tend to destroy the tissue in the nose, therefore snorting frequently will become less efficient over time.
There are a number of harms associated with snorting cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy including damaging the mucous membranes in your nose and the risk of infection.
Looking after your nose
Long term snorting can result in:
- Necrosis:Necrosis (death) of the lining of the nose can cause a hole to develop in the septum (the cartilage that separates the nostrils).
- Sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinus which can result in headaches, facial pains and/or nasal discharge.
Maybe the most effective means of looking after your nose is to make sure that you give it a break. Your nose is not a vacuum cleaner and gets damaged by constant exposure to drugs. Having a break from snorting gives your nose a chance to heal.
How to douche your nose
A nasal douche of luke warm salt water can also help reduce the risk of infection and also help minimise the damage done by snorting.
Snorting, Infections and Hepatitis C
- Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.
- Pinch your thumb and forefinger together and pour a little of this solution over them.
- Sniff it in gently so a warm salt spray is spread over the membranes inside your nose.
- Commercial nose sprays are pretty rough on nasal passages that are already irritated by cocaine and so should not be used frequently.
- If unwanted symptoms continue you may want to consult a doctor.
Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus (BBV) often associated with IV (injecting) drug use. Hep C can cause damage to the liver and in a small percentage of cases can lead to significant liver disease. Hep C can be transmitted when even a small amount of blood(it can be smaller than the eye can see) is exchanged. Theoretically this means that sharing snorting equipment could lead to transmission of the virus. Just for avoiding the shared snot factor it is worthwhile using your own straw and kit.
It also pays to ensure that the surface that you are snorting off is clean. Snorting your gear off the toilet seat in a busy nightclub might seem like a good idea at the time but just remember what you are standing in is probably what you’re snorting.