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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Question regarding habitual cocaine use

04/21/2006

Question:

I have been using coke (exclusively nasal) for nearly 4 years now, and have caused damage to my septum (passthru and scabbing). I am now determined to kick the addiction, but have a physical coming up for a new job. I was wondering how long coke can be present in my system, considering my heavy usage? I realize that normally, it is detectable for about 72 hours. I am worried about buildup in my nasal passages, which may cause the substance to remain in my system for a much longer period. Is there anything I can do to help flush my nasal passages of residue, which may extend the detection? It has been 3 days since I last used, and I my physical will probably be in approx. 5 days. I appreciate any information you can provide.

Answer:

Hello,

If you don't use any further, it won't show up on the screen. The nasal area doesn't have cocaine in it. The lack of circulation to the nasal cartilage has caused it to die and leave the hole in your septum. It is permanent. It can be fixed by an ear nose and throat surgeon.

Good luck. I certainly recommend you get treatment for your addiction.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Emeritus Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University