Thoughts Re: Cocaine

There were times in the past when I would go on coke binges. Usually crack binges. I would happen to have a bunch of money for some reason, I would be living with my mom, and thus capable of absorbing (along with my mom) the cost of my not contributing to the food budget … and they would be hellish experiences, sometimes resulting in hospitalization. It never became a real habit, though. Just some dumb shit I did when I was younger.

Cocaine — oddly enough — is not physically addictive. The excuse that you always supposedly heard at parties circa 1980, as someone tried to coax you toward getting high, was not a myth after all. Like pot, cocaine is only psychologically addictive — and that is not to be underestimated — but coke is different in one key way. It is physically addictive in the short term. However much time you spend binging on coke — and it costs about a hundred dollars an hour — you’ll spend that much time coming down. And the come down is very much a physical event. As high as the drug will take you — as crystal-clear as your thoughts and emotions will be — the low will drop you into (essentially) mental illness temporarily. If you happen to already be mentally ill on a permanent basis, then it will truly ravage your mindhole.

And, of course, because the low follows the high, it’s both the stupidest choice you can make (at least in that price range) and the perfect way of keeping you going on a binge. That order of events has gone on to destroy countless lives.

When I was a kid I echoed back to people the fact that it takes heroin about a month to really hook your body, but after the end of all the years of using, it’s so obvious that the first time you try something you’re fucked. Permanently fucked. Maybe in a small way. You might think it was good, but ultimately not worth it. Or maybe in a very big way. You’ll fall in love with it. As someone echoed back to me once about heroin, “After that first shot, you’re married to it.” That’s psychological addiction. And on top of that — with coke — you’re facing the horror of the immediate low.

Cocaine is a dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor. It floods your body with feel-good chemicals. The spigot of good is turned on full-blast, way more than the body means it to be. You feel something better than you’re meant to, and how could anyone not want that back? Because it goes away. So fast.

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