Cocaine: Dancing with the Devil at Dawn


When it comes to my struggles with addiction, alcohol was king. From the second I caught my first buzz, alcohol became my master and I was its sloppy, drunken servant. Since I preferred to drink, drugs were never really my thing and I seldom ever sought them out for recreational use. 

However, if the opportunity presented itself when I was drunk and around people doing drugs, I would certainly partake — particularly with cocaine. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to get coke myself, I would definitely do your coke. And then shamefully Venmo you for it the next day. 

The thing about my cocaine use was I never set out to do it, I would never do it on its own, nor would I ever do it if I were sober. Fentanyl was on the rise at the time and the potential for accidentally overdosing scared me. But all sound judgment and trepidation went out the window once I was drunk and I found myself in random bathrooms doing blow off the back of a toilet. 

If I even did cocaine in a calendar year, I only did it a few times or less. However, I never really liked it. I found that it made me want to drink less alcohol (which went against every fiber of my alcoholic being), it gave me dry mouth, and the effects were elusive. But, through alcoholic logic, I continued to occasionally use cocaine expecting some kind of different result. And yet, even though I didn’t really like it, I would still fiend for more and couldn’t seem to get enough.

Knowing I would need to eventually sleep, I often found myself looking at the clock throughout the night thinking “one more hour,” only to carry on well into the next day. Something felt so dirty about being high on coke at dawn and listening to birds chirp while scheming to get more blow. Nevermind seeing someone out for a jog at daybreak or leaving for work. That felt particularly disgraceful during a walk of shame home. 

The whole experience always seemed like a nightmare and once I finally got home, I typically found myself too keyed up to sleep. So I would continue to drink and chain smoke till I finally crashed. And the comedown off a cocaine and alcohol binge is absolutely horrifying. That’s the kind of pain I would not wish on a mortal enemy.

The price the piper demanded the next day for doing coke was way too high and it was always never worth doing. The following 24 hours proceeding that kind of “partying” consisted of headaches, heavy nervous fatigue, and nonstop panic for me. Not to mention I was typically full of regret, embarrassment, and shame about the prior night’s misadventures.

American Addiction Centers state that 60% of all cocaine users have an alcohol problem. The same 2018 study shows that the majority of the time, cocaine and alcohol are used simultaneously. So it’s no surprise that as an active alcoholic in the presence of cocaine, I dabbled with it. 

Fortunately, I never developed a habit with the drug, but some of my friends did. My buddy John gave me a peek inside what his cocaine addiction looked like and it sounded isolating, scary, and exhausting. But because cocaine is a stimulant, it’s anything but tiresome. And John could stay up for days.

John said he could easily rip through seven grams in a day, which is A LOT. He described driving between the hours of 2:30 am and 5:30 am looking to score more coke when all that was on the road was him, cops, and cabs. He also talked about the paranoia that would set in during days-long coke binges where he found himself suspicious of his own shadow. 

Any addiction can be a full time job to keep up, but cocaine addiction sounds extra laborious — and expensive. Cocaine has a reputation as being the most expensive of all the street drugs, and John said that he frequently used with drug buddies to alleviate the hefty price tag.

Anytime anyone does cocaine now, it’s a gamble with life. Drugs have become even more dangerous due to the spike in fentanyl in just about everything on the street. In 2022, John lost two friends to fentanyl-laced cocaine in the span of four months, but even that didn’t scare him into stopping. 

John eventually got sober, and he and I now run in the same recovery circles, thank god. But we are lucky, because cocaine takes out a lot of good people — and it could have easily taken both of us out, too. 

If you are struggling with a cocaine problem or addiction, please visit our resources page for help. You’re worth it. 


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