Citation: MIM. "A Subtle Power in that White Powder: An Experience with Cocaine (exp53211)". Erowid.org. Jul 29, 2007. erowid.org/exp/53211
||(powder / crystals)
I feel that describing just one experience with cocaine would do the substance a great injustice. Though it may seem straightforward enough - a euphoria-inducing stimulant - there is more more to it than meets the eye, at least in my opinion. A fellow writer said that the power of cocaine is in its subtlety, and I completely agree with him - this, at least, has been the case for me as well. Let me start from the beginning.
The first time I tried cocaine, I was a sophomore in college. My life in general sucked at this point, as I had just escaped a terrible “romantic” relationship, if it could even be called that, had a small group of friends who were mostly lame, and was doing quite badly in my classes. More to the point, I did not, at the time, have any connections to anything other than some high grade cannabis, or at best several pills of Adderall (mix of amphetamine and dexto-amphetamine salts) from time to time.
I found the latter substance, unlike pot, quite useful for studying and getting mundane tasks such as cleaning my room done. If I took enough Adderall, I could become quite euphoric, but it always seemed there was something missing from it – it almost seemed… “earthy”… yes, that is the best way I can put it. I had heard a lot about cocaine, from friends who had tried it in the past to its depiction in movies and such. I thought cocaine might be the answer I was looking for, that perfect high, that perfect bliss and, as such, I spent a good amount of time looking into getting a hookup.
One day, my Adderall dealer finally came through, and waltzed into my room with a bag of cocaine. It was pressed into a lump, though he assured me it was regular, powder cocaine, not the mixture called “crack.” He had only gotten some for himself, but he was willing to share it at no cost to myself. I had always seen cocaine snorted from a mirror in movies, and as such insisted that I do so. I wanted to “do it right.” The only mirror I could find was a body-length mirror lent from a friend, but that would have to do, and I rested it on my bed as flat as I could. With just slight pressure from an ID card, it broke into smaller lumps. Each of these, in turn, disintegrated into a pile of powder which looked *much* larger than the original lump.
With my first sniff I was disappointed immediately. I looked at him and said, “I don’t feel anything.” He just snorted his line and smiled. Just then, I felt something. To this day I am not quite sure what, but I did feel something. One, perhaps odd, thing I remember was that just as the rush hit, I saw some green “ribbons” streak across his face, although only for a very brief moment. Anyway, he and I chatted for a while, and then we did another couple lines. I still was not feeling as euphoric as I had hoped… in fact, there was no euphoria as such I could put my finger on, but I did not want to insult him so I just kept talking. Anyway, talking was unusually fun, and the music sounded really good.
To my dismay, he did not want to do any more coke that night, so after he left I went up to see a friend of mine. My conversation with him seemed normal enough, though he later told me that I was more “aggressive” and “engaged” than usual – and he was used to me on Adderall, being one of my closer friends.
Fast forward a year, and I have another chance to try cocaine, and I jumped at the chance with eager anticipation. Even though I had not really noticed much of any effect from it, I thought about it somewhat frequently over the course of the summer. Though my old Adderall dealer graduated, my freshmen year pot dealer, who had been studying in England for a year, returned and was apparently dealing coke. I bought a gram from him – though it was really overpriced – and ended up doing some with a homeless guy who was visiting his girlfriend at college (this is a really liberal college, by the way).
This time I had a lot, and I was not about to make the mistake I had made before. I cut out twelve lines. I let the homeless guy go first, who only did a couple before going briefly to his girlfriends room. Before he left and shook his head at me: “You’re sure you’re going to do all that?” I said I would… and I did. I did the first five or so and waited, but did not really seem to notice much, except for that “thing” I could not quite put my finger on. So I proceeded to do the rest.
I waited, and was about to cut out more lines, when I distinctly remember feeling something I now know psychologists and psychiatrists call “panic”, though mine was, clearly, chemically induced and so not a proper “panic attack”. In any event, my heart was pounding, my breath was labored, and I had a mild case of vertigo. More over, I worried about what these symptoms might mean (“Maybe I ODed!”), and this likely increased the physiological effects, perpetuating the cycle. I ran out of my room into the hall, trying to “escape” from the terrible feeling. I was confused and did not no where to go, but I eventually ran down the staircase, where I ran into the homeless guy who was on his way up.
I immediately felt better, seeing a familiar face, and when I recounted the experience to him, he further reassured me those things were common at high doses and they did not mean anything tragic was about to happen. About an hour later, maybe less, I started to come down, and this I *did* feel. It was absolutely horrendous. Life seemed so hopeless, though I had no idea why. A couple beers seemed to take the edge off a little, but not significantly.
At one point in the year, I was talking to my dealer, who was himself a cokehead, and mentioned I had never really felt any “effects” from coke. He looked at me and said, “But you like it, don’t you?” The question caught me off guard, mostly because I realized I did like it. I just did not know why, or what exactly it did to me. Every other chemical had effects I could squarely put my finger on, but not coke. There was also one evening where I sat at my desk staring at my computer screen and thinking “Why aren’t I having fun? I was having fun here earlier today? What should I be doing?” I thought and though, and then realized: it was the coke. I had not had a particularly good time doing it, so far as I could tell, but I “remembered” it as being fun. I concluded that coke’s effects must be extremely subtle – at least for me – and that I would just have to be content with that. Its mysteries seemed to me altogether gone, and I convinced myself it would keep disappointing me, so I did not try any more… until later that year.
Towards the end of that year, I still had a little bit of the gram left, and that evening I happened to be drinking a little. The synergy with alcohol was amazing, albeit unpredicted. I only took one line, and yet I could feel a distinct euphoria. I felt I was not quite as far along as I could be, so I wanted to do more, but I was sharing with three other people (we each got a line) and none was left. Nevertheless, I had a good time that night, for much longer than I would have anticipated given all that I had heard about coke’s brief effects. There was no comedown, either.
This year, senior year, my life had finally come together. I finally had a great girlfriend, a decent circle of friends, and was never without anything to do if I wanted to find it. By this point, I had turned to opiates, mostly kratom because it was legal and widely available (and, frankly, because it was the best), but also codeine, dihydrocodeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone (the last one rarely, and only in the form of Percocet).
The thing I liked about opiates, as opposed to coke, which I had tried thusfar only a handful of times, Adderall, or any other upper, is that I could often “knock myself out” on them, ie, I would seldom have to deal with a comedown, because the peak of the high was a blissful, dreamlike state, that eventually subsided into contented sleep, this as compared to uppers, which kept me awake until and through the comedown, where I would lie in bed feeling the world had come to an end even though I “knew” it had not, until I finally drifted off into a fitful, troubled sleep. I also stayed away from pot, first because it had begun to hurt my lungs the last year, and second because I found using it for an extended period of time made me a-social and withdrawn.
Anyway, I recently had another opportunity to try cocaine. On this particular night, I had gotten into a fight with my girlfriend and so decided to spend the night away from her (at this point, we were sharing a bed almost every night). I went to the town tavern to hang out with some friends, and ran into a long-lost friend from freshman year. I was a little tipsy so I thrust all my problems on him, as I have wont to do when I’m inebriated. I asked him if he had any oxycodone or another painkiller, as I had a particular longing for one on this evening, but he said he did not, he did, however, have a gram and a half of cocaine on hand. I was not too thrilled with this, but I figured, “What the hell. I’ll give it another shot.”
So he handed me the tin from his pocket, told me to take as much as I wanted, and I went to the bathroom. The bags were filled with a fairly fine powder, with just a couple chunks here and there. There was no decent surface, so I just took the snorting-tube out of the tin and insufflated some from straight out of the bag. The burning in my nose and the sudden, powerful rush told me I had probably snorted quite a bit more than I intended. Indeed, I looked in the mirror and saw that my eyes were fairly well dilated. I did not get the panic I feared, though, and I went back into the tavern and had a great evening, drinking lots of good beer, chatting the night away, and occasionally going to the bathroom to snort the coke. I had never quite so powerful, or so smooth, and this time I was distinctly aware of it.
When 2 AM rolled around, I was disappointed the bar was closing as I was having such a good time. My friend was nice enough to give me one of the two bags, or what remained of one of them. There was still a good half gram or third gram in it, so far as I could tell. I got back to my room and surfed the web, red and replied to emails, and so on. I was waiting for that terrible come down, but even after an hour, it did not seem to come. Instead, the high kept getting stronger and stronger. At about the hour and a half mark (after I got back), that familiar feeling of panic returned. “This is curious,” I thought, “cocaine and alcohol ought to be antagonistic. Maybe the alcohol is wearing off now and my withdrawal from it is adding a little edge to the coke high.”
I looked it up online to reassure myself, but what I found was far from reassuring. Apparently, alcohol and cocaine mix in the body to form a new substance, that is more euphoric than either alone, but also more toxic. What’s more, it lasts somewhere from 3 to 5 times longer than cocaine.
I knew the best approach was to try to relax, so I did. I tried lying down, but I could only do this for so long. I needed to go to the bathroom, but the physically short walk there was difficult due to terrible vertigo and some mild, “melty” visual distortions similar to a low-dose shrooms trip, and when I got there I could hardly urinate at all, and when I did manage to squeeze a little out, my heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest.
I got back to my room and felt lightheaded and anxious. My balance was severely impaired, especially if I stood still. I wanted to do something, but I did not know what. I took my pulse and, if I was taking it accurately, it was over 100 beats per minute. I also felt that I was not getting any oxygen to my blood, even though I was taking deep, slow breaths. I was forcing myself to, because I knew this was likely better than allowing myself to hyperventilate as my body was screaming at me to do. I really wanted to “escape,” but I realized that, as much as I wanted to, running would probably only make matters worse, so I went on a walk.
The campus was nearly empty, since by this time it was between 3 and 4 in the morning on a weeknight. Everything looked creepy in the moonlight, though I cannot describe exactly how, all I can say is that things “look” similar to this when I’m coming up or going down on shrooms. I walked around and around campus, making sure to breath deeply and slowly and not walk too fast. Walking did help relieve a bit of the anxiety, if nothing else by distracting me, although from time to time a wave of “panic,” which at times felt like pins and needles accompanied by almost debilitating dizziness, would wash over me.
At one point I took my pulse and, if I was correct (which I figure is not that likely since I was so messed up), it was 200 beats per minute. I considered going to the college health center, staffed 24 hours by at least a nurse, but I weighed the possibilities and did not want to get caught because, despite how I felt, some small part of me “thought” this would all blow over in time and that I would be fine. After all, I had not even done a full gram – probably not even a full half gram – of coke. So I kept walking and, little by little (and by this I mean over the course of three more hours), I calmed down enough to return to my room and go to sleep. I do not remember feeling any crash as such, though, only relief at the experience finally being over.
The next day, I still felt a little strange, and from time to time a very mild wave would wash over me. These usually included feeling top-heavy and things looking “creepy.” A day after that, I was feeling perfectly normal, and I had to endure a very boring function, so I did ONE line, followed it with a shot of Southern Comfort, and took off. I did not feel noticeable euphoria as such, not something that could be directly tied to the coke, but I did enjoy the evening a lot more than I normally would have, and my social skills were top notch, or that’s what it seemed to me at the time, albeit dominating (as I realize looking back on the experience). Again, no comedown, though several hours later that evening when I was drinking and hoping to get drunk, I just started feeling more upped and, wanting to stave off another episode of panic, curtailed my drinking. No crash, and by the time I got back that evening from the party, I fell to sleep relatively easily.
Anyway, that’s pretty much all I have to say about coke. At least for me (and I think there are probably others out there), coke is very subtle, and is hard to notice at first. This does not mean, however, that it is not powerful. I don’t personally find it quite as addictive – even psychologically – as opiates, simply because it doesn’t really bring me that sense of blissful escape that I want. In fact, sometimes it induces the desire for it. But it might be just what some out there are looking for, and is therefore even more dangerous than it is to me. I’m not saying not to use it. That’s obviously your decision. I am saying, though, that from now on I’m going to be very careful with this substance, and I’d hope that others will be, too.
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