Substance Use

Coke Bloat: Why Cocaine Makes Your Face Puffy

woman with bloated face cocaine

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

Cocaine Addiction and Physical Side Effects

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug made from the coca plant that grows in South America. It has a long history of use for medical procedures, and some people may remember that it was once included as an ingredient in Coca-Cola beverages. While it may occasionally be used for anesthesia, it’s primarily consumed illegally as a recreational drug.

The euphoric “high” feeling produced by the active ingredients makes powder and crack cocaine popular drugs of choice. People have also used it for various reasons, such as to feel more sociable or less tired. Unfortunately, coke can negatively affect your body and even lead to cocaine addiction — coke bloat is one of the most common cocaine side effects. It can occur whether by snorting, injecting, or smoking cocaine.

There are many drugs and other substances that can cause your face to look puffy. If you’re a cocaine user, then chances are you have coke bloat. Here’s why cocaine can cause your face to bloat, how to get rid of it and prevent it, and ways to get help from a treatment program.

Zinnia Healing offers a range of customized treatment programs. If you’re suffering from the negative consequences of cocaine use, like coke bloat, you can reach us at (855) 430-9439. Our helpline is available 24/7. 

What Is Coke Bloat?

Many drugs can alter your looks and body. One of the most common symptoms after using cocaine includes bloating or puffiness in your facial area. Unlike an allergic reaction or other illnesses, this type of facial puffiness is called “coke bloat.”

Coke bloat is characterized by bloating or puffiness on the face. This most often appears on the cheeks or under the chin. Although cocaine abusers are often depicted as being thin and sickly, coke bloat can actually make them look like they’ve gained weight. In any case, substance use can change your appearance; such is the case with coke bloat.

Why Does Cocaine Cause Coke Bloat

Substance abusers who frequently use cocaine may find that their face has a bloated look. Facial swelling from coke bloat happens for several reasons:

  • Fluid retention
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Swollen glands
  • Irritated and inflamed nasal passages
  • Cocaine isn’t pure

In addition to puffiness in the face, cocaine can cause general bloating in different body parts. These causes might include:

  • Not enough water (dehydration)
  • Narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction)
  • A buildup of lymphatic fluid 
  • Inflammation of the lining of the abdomen (peritonitis

Most Common Cocaine Adulterant

You can find more of a variety of drugs on the streets that involve a mix of substances. These additives, called adulterants, are typically used because it allows them to make the drug cheaper and increase profits.

Nowadays, people often add a deworming medicine (Levamisole) used by veterinarians to treat livestock. The chemicals in this medicine lead to several complications. In addition to coke bloat, you might experience joint pain, dying skin tissues (skin necrosis), and seizures. In particular, levamisole is an irritant that can cause the parotid glands to swell up, making a face look puffy.

It’s nearly impossible to know what is in a drug that’s not prescribed by a physician or made available over the counter (OTC). In addition to substances like Levamisole, cocaine could be laced with very dangerous drugs like fentanyl. That’s why seeking treatment for substance use disorder, or drug addiction is important.

Getting treatment is vital for complications such as coke bloat. Consider one of Zinnia Healing’s rehab programs. You can contact us today to learn how to get started on the road to recovery. 

When Does Coke Bloat Happen

If you or a loved one uses cocaine, chances are you see signs of a puffy face. Coke bloat can happen to anyone that puts cocaine in their body, whether by snorting, injecting, or smoking.

You don’t have to be a frequent user or a cocaine addict. In fact, you could get a puffy face after using cocaine just once the first time you try it. It also doesn’t matter how much or how little cocaine you take. There’s no specific amount known that’s more likely to cause coke bloat.

Continued use of this illegal drug can lead to addiction, making it a challenge to stop. Not only that, but cocaine has unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ongoing drug use also increases your risk of the following long-term effects of cocaine: organ damage (e.g., heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, lung disease), weight loss, malnutrition, seizures, stroke, brain bleeds, impaired cognitive function, moving disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s disease), and even death.

How to Get Rid of Coke Bloat

You may find many recommendations if you’ve searched the Internet for coke bloat remedies. Most of these anecdotes don’t work, as there’s no evidence proving their effectiveness.

Most common coke bloat treatment recommendations:

  • Facial massage
  • Derma roller 
  • Cooling mask or cold compress 
  • Cold shower
  • Hydrocortisone cream

You may be tempted to try every remedy available. Chances are they won’t provide relief because there’s no guaranteed fix. When experiencing any medical problem, it’s always best to seek attention from a medical professional or clinic.

Coke bloat can be prevented by not using cocaine at all. If you stop taking cocaine, you may see your coke bloat disappear as the drug begins to leave your body. Remember that cocaine can have lasting effects with long-term drug use, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Find a Cocaine Addiction Substance Use Treatment Center Near You

Are you or a family member a cocaine user? Do you have a puffy face? Chances are you have what’s known as coke bloat. Although there are many reasons you could have a bloated look, cocaine is known to cause hormone issues to arise, parotic glands to swell, blood vessels to become narrower, and the nose to become inflamed. Even more common, you could take cocaine made with a dewormer, which is known to cause coke bloat. You can try many home remedies, but the best prevention is to avoid cocaine altogether or seek substance abuse treatment.

Zinnia Healing offers a range of services designed to meet the customized needs of those dealing with drug abuse. You can choose programs that best match your needs, including detox, inpatient treatment, IOP (intensive outpatient), outpatient, and recovery residences.

As experts in the field, we understand many people’s struggles. Don’t risk your body, mental health, and well-being because of cocaine’s side effects. Learn more about our treatment process and speak with our drug rehab center admissions staff. 

Related Articles