What Does Meth Do to Your Nose?

We will give you the support and guidance you need to get started on the road of long-term recovery.

Get Help with Addiction Treatment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Tweak, speed, and crank are just some of the few street names used to describe meth. (1) Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerful substance that is a part of the stimulant drug classification group. It can be in the form of a  white powder, or glassy, whitish chunks, known as crystal meth. (2) Meth was developed from a substance known as amphetamine during the 20th century. During this time, it was mainly used in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants. Meth is extremely addictive with approximately 2.5 million individuals engaging in it within a 12-month period. (3) With such a high number of yearly users, individuals may not be fully aware of the dangerous consequences of meth use. Adverse effects associated with meth use include meth mouth, skin rashes, and meth nose.

In 2021, approximately 1.6 million individuals were diagnosed with methamphetamine use disorder. (4) Here at Guardian Recovery, we are dedicated to helping reduce the number of individuals experiencing methamphetamine and other substance use disorders. We offer treatment services that include psychoeducation so that each individual is able to not only develop healthy coping strategies, but they can also understand the complexities of substance use. Contact us today to get started on your recovery and wellness journey.

Start Healing Today!

Choose recovery and take control of your life, it’s the path to a brighter future filled with health, happiness, and fulfillment.

Nasal Symptoms & Effects of Meth on Your Nose

Meth can be ingested in various ways, such as snorting, though this can negatively affect the nose. Snorting meth is done by using a straw or another thin tube.(5) Snorting meth produces a longer lasting high sensation when compared to smoking or injecting meth, which produces a rush. (6) What does meth do to your nose? Well, when snorted, meth can cause severe damage to the nasal and sinus cavity.

Short-Term Effects

Snorting meth can cause temporary adverse effects. Snorting meth can lead to nosebleeds and sinus issues.

Additional short-term effects that meth can cause to the nose include:

  • Irritation of the nostrils.
  • Irritation of the nasal passages.
  • Irritation of the septum.
  • Runny nose.

Long-Term Effects

Chronic meth use can cause extreme damage to the sinus cavity. (7) Sensitive nasal tissues will become worn.

Additional long-term effects that meth cause to the nose include:

  • Chronic runny nose.
  • Chronic blood nose.
  • Sinus infection.
  • Hole in the septum.
  • Loss of sense of smell.
  • Loss of ability to breathe out of affected nostrils.

Nose Bleeds

Experiencing a bleeding nose is one of the most common symptoms associated with snorting meth. (8) Meth dries out the nose and the mucous membranes causing irritation and inflammation. Snorting meth also leads to damaged blood vessels, making the nose more susceptible to bleeding. (9) A meth nose bleed can lead to blood disorders such as anemia if bleeding is heavy or continues over a long period of time. (10)

Meth Snorting & Nose Damage

Snorting meth causes a temporary euphoric feeling that can last for up to 12 hours. (11) When snorted, meth is absorbed through the mucous membranes located in the sinus passages.

Hard Palate Perforation Damage

Hard palate perforation damage, also known as a hole in the palate, can be a result of meth use. (12) It is due to chronic necrosis, or death of tissues in the nose. Hard palate perforation damage can also be caused by autoimmune diseases, malignancies, and trauma. (13)

Deviated & Perforated Septum & Necrosis

The septum is what divides the nose into two separate chambers. Snorting meth and other substances, such as cocaine, has been linked to septum perforation. (14)

Saddle Nose & Nose Collapse

saddle nose is the result of a collapsed nasal bridge. (15) A saddle nose can change the shape of the nose and how it functions. Cosmetic surgery is often needed in order to repair a collapsed nose due to meth use.

Complimentary Insurance Check
Find Out Today!

"*" indicates required fields

Name
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Increased Risk of Sinus Infections

A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is inflammation of the tissues in the sinuses. (16) The sinuses are a connected system of spaces in the forehead, cheeks, and nose. Sinus infections are mainly caused by the common cold, however, snorting meth can increase the risk of an individual developing a sinus infection. (17)

Signs and symptoms of a sinus infection include: (18)

  • Mucus dripping down the throat, also known as postnasal drip
  • Runny nose with thick green and yellow mucus
  • Stuffy nose
  • Pain in the teeth and ears
  • Pressure in the face
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Bad breath
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Infection of the Lungs

Research has shown that meth use can cause lung inflammation and abnormalities. Research has also found that when meth is ingested into the body, the lungs absorb more meth than any other organ. (19) Methamphetamine-induced lung infection can be a result of snorting meth. (20)

Other issues of the lungs associated with snorting meth include: (21)

  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Fluids found in the lungs
  • High blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs

Breathing Complications

Snorting meth can cause impairments to breathing. Meth use can increase the chances of an individual experiencing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. (22) Both of these conditions make it difficult to breathe. It can also be difficult to breathe out of nostrils that are affected in any way due to snorting meth.

Loss of Smell

The nose can be so damaged from meth use that over time, an individual can lose their sense of smell. Unfortunately, loss of smell is a natural consequence of chronic and long-term meth use.

What is a Meth or Coke Nose Hole?

Meth and cocaine are two substances in which long-term use can lead to a hole forming in the nose. The hole can develop at the bridge of the nose. If the hole is small and does not spread into the septum, it may heal on its own. However, if the hole reaches the septum and goes through each side of the nose, it will not heal on its own and surgery would be needed. The only way to prevent a meth nose hole is to stop using meth.

Treatment for Meth-Related Nasal Damage

The treatment for meth nose damage is limited as many of the symptoms are irreversible. Cosmetic surgeries can be done to help repair the nose from consequences such as a deviated septum or a saddle nose.

The best treatment for nasal damages caused by meth use is to stop using meth. Stopping meth use is best done within a treatment center, where an individual can receive supervised detoxification servicesMeth detox helps monitor and alleviate the negative symptoms associated with withdrawal. Substance use treatment facilities also can provide different levels of care, such as residential inpatientpartial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient, in order to meet an individual’s specific treatment needs. Attending a treatment program which provides therapeutic services, such as individualfamily, and group therapy, can help an individual get to the root of their substance use.

Our Locations 

Our Facilities & Teams Transform Lives

Changing lives by providing comprehensive support and rehabilitation, empowering individuals to overcome addiction and regain control of their health and well-being.

Our Simple Admissions Process

If you or someone you know have experienced any nasal consequences related to meth use, treatment may be beneficial. Here at Guardian Recovery, we can help you and your loved ones initiate the treatment process with our professional intervention services. One of our Treatment Advisors is ready to speak with you to guide you through the admissions process. A free, no obligation insurance benefits check can be provided upon your request. Reach your sobriety goals with Guardian Recovery.

SELF-ASSESSMENT:

Do I have an Addiction issue?

Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/methamphetamine
  2. https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/methamphetamine
  3. http://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states
  4. http://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states
  5. https://tweaker.org/crystal-meth/ways-guys-do-meth/snorting/
  6. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/how-methamphetamine-misused
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388881/
  8. https://www.drugfreekidscanada.org/drug-spotlights/meth/
  9. https://tweaker.org/crystal-meth/ways-guys-do-meth/snorting/
  10. https://nampons.com/blogs/articles/why-do-you-feel-weak-after-a-nosebleed
  11. https://portal.ct.gov/DMHAS/Programs-and-Services/Methamphetamine/Methamphetamine
  12. https://www.cureus.com/articles/60372-hard-palate-perforation-in-an-elderly-man-with-dementia#!/
  13. https://www.cureus.com/articles/60372-hard-palate-perforation-in-an-elderly-man-with-dementia#!/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3846244/
  15. https://www.saddlenose.com/drug-related-causes-of-saddle-nose/
  16. https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sinus-infection.html
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388881/
  18. https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sinus-infection.html
  19. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2020-05/CCSA-COVID-19-Methamphetamine-Respiratory-System-Report-2020-en_0.pdf
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601696/
  21. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2020-05/CCSA-COVID-19-Methamphetamine-Respiratory-System-Report-2020-en_0.pdf
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601696/
  23. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2022.884790/full

Get Local Help

Helpful, Recovery
Resources

Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Picture of Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

More About Author
Guardian Recovery

Check Insurance Coverage

Find out today what options are available to you. Fill out the form below.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Live a BRIGHTER Future Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Live a BRIGHTER Future Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

Contact Alumni Services Today!

Guardian Recovery is here to assist you in your journey of healing after coming to one of our facilities.

Your Name
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Stay in touch ALUMNI

Join our alumni newsletter to get up to date information on events, news, and more.

Name
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Personalize Your Experience

Allow us to guide you to the information your looking for.

Begin HEALING Today

Check Insurance Coverage

Find out today what options are available to you. Fill out the form below.

Do it for YOU, Do it for LOVED ones

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.