Cocaine Addiction Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Cocaine Addiction. Here they are! All 100 of them:

A Short Alternative Medical Dictionary Definitions courtesy of Dr Lemuel Pillmeister (also known as Lemmy) Addiction - When you can give up something any time, as long as it's next Tuesday. Cocaine - Peruvian Marching Powder. A stimulant that has the extraordinary effect that the more you do, the more you laugh out of context. Depression - When everything you laugh at is miserable and you can't seem to stop. Heroin - A drug that helps you to escape reality, while making it much harder to cope when you are recaptured. Psychosis - When everybody turns into tiny dolls and they have needles in their mouths and they hate you and you don't care because you have THE KNIFE! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Nikki Sixx (The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star)
Addictive personalities can latch on to anything: drugs, alcohol, sex, people…what if you become addicted to me?” “I am already addicted to you, Beatrice. Only you’re far more dangerous than cocaine.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
Before there was Cocaine or vodka or sex or any of that, there was fantasy. There was escape. That was my first addiction. I remember being a little kid and imagining everything different, myself different. How did I get the idea in my head at age eight that everything was better somewhere else? Why would a child have a hole inside that can't get full no matter what she does? The real world could never make me happy, so I retreated to the world inside my head. And as I grew, as the real world proved itself more and more painful, the fantasy world expanded.
Amy Reed (Clean)
I got addicted. News, particularly daily news, is more addictive than crack cocaine, more addictive than heroin, more addictive than cigarettes.
Dan Rather
Some of my relatives held on to imagined memories the way homeless people hold onto lottery tickets. Nostalgia was their crack cocaine, if you will, and my childhood was littered with the consequences of their addiction : unserviceable debts, squabbles over inheritances, the odd alcoholic or suicide.
Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
But this kiss? This is one I won’t forget any time soon. She tastes…Jesus, I’ve never done drugs, but I imagine this is what that first snort of cocaine feels like, that first shot of heroine. Goddamn addictive.
Emma Chase
However, when given the chance, many people choose cocaine over love. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad choice. The endorphins released during infatuation are similar to heroin. OxyContin, “the cuddling hormone,” most often found in new mothers and newlyweds, is like ecstasy; every touch tingles. I think I read that somewhere. Love exists in powder. Love exists in pills. We are all addicts.
Pete Wentz (Gray)
Don't ever think you're better than a drug addict, because your brain works the same as theirs. You have the same circuits. And drugs would affect your brain in the same way it affects theirs. The same thought process that makes them screw up over and over again would make you screw up over and over as well, if you were in their shoes. You probably already are doing it, just not with heroin or crack, but with food or cigarettes, or something else you shouldn't be doing.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How the Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began #2))
I, the unfortunate Doctor Polyakov, who became addicted to morphine in February of this year, warn anyone who may suffer the same fate not to attempt to replace morphine with cocaine. Cocaine is a most foul and insidious poison. Yesterday Anna barely managed to revive me with camphor injections and today I am half dead.
Mikhail Bulgakov (Morphine)
When you push someone's head under water for 5 minutes, they will drown. It doesn't matter if the person is a sinner or a saint. It's just a natural process. If their head is under water, the lack of oxygen will make them drown. That rule applies to everyone, good or bad, equally. It doesn't matter if the drowning person has strong moral fiber. And it doesn't matter if you're a good or a bad person, once you become addicted to drugs. What happens next is inevitable. It's a natural process that happens in everyone's brain, once the drugs take over. So don't ever fool yourself into thinking that only weak or bad people get addicted.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How the Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began #2))
Think of cocaine. In its natural form, as coca leaves, it's appealing, but not to an extent that it usually becomes a problem. But refine it, purify it, and you get a compound that hits your pleasure receptors with an unnatural intensity. That's when it becomes addictive. Beauty has undergone a similar process, thanks to advertisers. Evolution gave us a circuit that responds to good looks - call it the pleasure receptor for our visual cortex - and in our natural environment, it was useful to have. But take a person with one-in-a-million skin and bone structure, add professional makeup and retouching, and you're no longer looking at beauty in its natural form. You've got pharmaceutical-grade beauty, the cocaine of good looks. Biologists call this "supernormal stimulus" [...] Our beauty receptors receive more stimulation than they were evolved to handle; we're seeing more beauty in one day than our ancestors did in a lifetime. And the result is that beauty is slowly ruining our lives. How? The way any drug becomes a problem: by interfering with our relationships with other people. We become dissatisfied with the way ordinary people look because they can't compare to supermodels.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Such elusive puzzles recall the historian's basic dilemma: the absence of evidence does not always signify evidence of absence. In the end, we will likely never know.
Howard Markel (An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine)
Addictions always originate in pain, whether felt openly or hidden in the unconscious. They are emotional anesthetics. Heroin and cocaine, both powerful physical painkillers, also ease psychological discomfort.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
There's a peculiar thing that happens every time you get clean. You go through this sensation of rebirth. There's something intoxicating about the process of the comeback, and that becomes an element in the whole cycle of addiction. Once you've beaten yourself down with cocaine and heroin, and you manage to stop and walk out of the muck you begin to get your mind and body strong and reconnect with your spirit. The oppressive feeling of being a slave to the drugs is still in your mind, so by comparison, you feel phenomenal. You're happy to be alive, smelling the air and seeing the beauty around you...You have a choice of what to do. So you experience this jolt of joy that you're not where you came from and that in and of itself is a tricky thing to stop doing. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you know that every time you get clean, you'll have this great new feeling. Cut to: a year later, when you've forgotten how bad it was and you don't have that pink-cloud sensation of being newly sober. When I look back, I see why these vicious cycles can develop in someone who's been sober for a long time and then relapses and doesn't want to stay out there using, doesn't want to die, but isn't taking the full measure to get well again. There's a concept in recovery that says 'Half-measures avail us nothing.' When you have a disease, you can't take half the process of getting well and think you're going to get half well; you do half the process of getting well, you're not going to get well at all, and you'll go back to where you came from. Without a thorough transformation, you're the same guy, and the same guy does the same shit. I kept half-measuring it, thinking I was going to at least get something out of this deal, and I kept getting nothing out of it
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
THE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY RULES 1. Control or Chaos. One must be in control of all interactions, feelings and personal behavior at all times—control is the major defense strategy for shame. In the less-than-human shameless marriage, both parents may be cocaine addicts or addicted in other ways. They may be dishonest criminals. The children experience chaos, as well as secrecy rules that guard their family’s behavior. 2. Perfectionism or Anomie. Always be right in everything you do. The perfectionist rule always involves an imposed measurement. The fear and avoidance of the negative is the organizing principle of life. The members live according to an externalized image. No one ever measures up. In the less-than-human family, there are no rules—the children have no structure to guide them.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
According to scientists, there are three stages of love: lust, attraction, and attachment. And, it turns out, each of the stages is orchestrated by chemicals—neurotransmitters—in the brain. As you might expect, lust is ruled by testosterone and estrogen. The second stage, attraction, is governed by dopamine and serotonin. When, for example, couples report feeling indescribably happy in each other’s presence, that’s dopamine, the pleasure hormone, doing its work. Taking cocaine fosters the same level of euphoria. In fact, scientists who study both the brains of new lovers and cocaine addicts are hard-pressed to tell the difference. The second chemical of the attraction phase is serotonin. When couples confess that they can’t stop thinking about each other, it’s because their serotonin level has dropped. People in love have the same low serotonin levels as people with OCD. The reason they can’t stop thinking about each other is that they are literally obsessed. Oxytocin and vasopressin control the third stage: attachment or long-term bonding. Oxytocin is released during orgasm and makes you feel closer to the person you’ve had sex with. It’s also released during childbirth and helps bond mother to child. Vasopressin is released postcoitally. Natasha knows these facts cold. Knowing them helped her get over Rob’s betrayal. So she knows: love is just chemicals and coincidence. So why does Daniel feel like something more?
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
The wondrous power of a drug is to offer the addict protection from pain while at the same time enabling her to engage the world with excitement and meaning. “It’s not that my senses are dulled—no, they open, expanded,” explained a young woman whose substances of choice are cocaine and marijuana. “But the anxiety is removed, and the nagging guilt and—yeah!” The drug restores to the addict the childhood vivacity she suppressed long ago.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
I wondered if I was more addicted to being sad than I was to bourbon or cocaine.
Christopher Rice (Light Before Day)
From the beginning of high school, all other substances were readily available and liberally consumed by my friends, who used weed and booze like an essential garnish for activities. Peer pressure was rampant with hallucinogens and cocaine. I experimented and hated the effects. Reality wasn’t the problem. I was.
David Poses (The Weight of Air: A Story of the Lies about Addiction and the Truth about Recovery)
Of course, using cutting to deal with depression is like snorting coke to cure cancer. The cocaine will make you feel great for a while, but now you're addicted to coke and you have cancer.
Shaun David Hutchinson (Brave Face)
I'm not saying it isn't habit forming, but it's much milder than tobacco, alcohol, or cocaine. Law enforcement says it's addictive, but that's ridiculous. If you believe that, then pachinko is far more dangerous.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
The alcoholic retains the ability to condemn his addiction and advise those not subject to it to avoid succumbing to the liquid poison. But the cocaine addict likes proselytizing; thus, instead of constituting a tangible warning, every victim of the drug acts as a source of infection.
Pitigrilli (Cocaine)
When she walks in that first Monday, of course I am awake - I am always up these days - I decide to lay it down. “Look”, I say, “I snort Ritalin. That’s what I do. I snort it all day long. I crush up the pills and inhale them like cocaine. I’m up to about forty a day. I can’t stop. I am planning to get help, to check into rehab or something like that, as soon as this book is finished. In the meantime, I can’t stop, and I am not going to.” She looks at me impassively. “I don’t care what you think about it. So you have a choice. I can sit here and do it in front of you, or I can keep running into the bathroom so you don’t have to see. Either way, it’s going to happen, so it’s just about how bad it’s going to make you feel to watch.” She doesn’t seem to know what to say. She stares. I think she is going to cry. I think she wants to give me a hug, maybe, but there is an invisible cage, a delicate netting of glass, an ice sculpture surrounding me that no one can walk through. I’m cold. I’ve frozen into someone who just can’t be touched. I dare you to try.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction)
I tried everything I could to prevent my son’s fall into meth addiction. It would have been no easier to have seen him strung out on heroin or cocaine, but as every parent of a meth addict comes to learn, this drug has a unique, horrific quality. In an interview, Stephan Jenkins, the singer in Third Eye Blind, said that meth makes you feel “bright and shiny.” It also makes you paranoid, delusional, destructive, and self-destructive. Then you will do unconscionable things in order to feel bright and shiny again.
David Sheff (Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)
If Barack Obama had come up in a time when the drug war was being waged as intensely as it is now, we probably would never have heard of him. A single arrest could have precluded student loans, resulted in jail time, and completely ruined his life, posing a far greater threat to him than the drugs themselves did, including the risk of addiction to marijuana or cocaine.
Carl L. Hart (High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society)
I grew up being told, "If you do marijuana you'll be a slave for the rest of your life," and it only took me ten minutes to realize smoking marijuana was pretty cool. Then it was, "If you take LSD you'll be a slave for the rest of your life. Then it got to be, "If you take cocaine, you'll be slave for life." There was a time when I thought, "Hey, I've been taking Heroin for six months and I feel fine. You know, just on weekends." I actually believed that you didn't have to become addicted. I was wrong. The most important thing out of this is, don't lie to the kids. If marijuana is not going to make you homeless and addicted, don't tell people it is, because they'll found out it doesn't, then when they get to the stuff that really WILL, they ain't gonna believe you." - Dickie Peterson
Jon Wiederhorn (Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal)
Addiction to sugar may even be more intense than addiction to other drugs of abuse. Studies have found that when rats are addicted to cocaine, if they’re given a choice between cocaine and sugar, they will opt for the sugar instead, likely because the reward from sugar surpasses that of even cocaine.
James DiNicolantonio (The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got it All Wrong and How Eating More Might Save Your Life)
love: a chemical history. ...The second stage, attraction, is governed by dopamine and serotonin. When, for example, couples report feeling indescribably happy in each other's presence, that's dopamine, the pleasure hormone, doing its work. Taking cocaine fosters the same level of euphoria. In fact, scientists who study both the brains of new lovers and cocaine addicts are hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Was Trakl a Christian? Yes, of course, at times he becomes a Christian, among a general confusion of becomings—becoming an animal, becoming a virus, becoming inorganic—just as he was also an antichrist, a poet, a pharmacist, an alcoholic, a drug addict, a psychotic, a leper, a suicide, an incestuous cannibal, a necrophiliac, a rodent, a vampire, and a werewolf. Just as he became his sister, and also a hermaphrodite. Trakl's texts are scrawled over by redemptionist monotheism, just as they are stained by narcotic fluidities, gnawed by rats, cratered by Russian artillery, charred and pitted by astronomical debris. Trakl was a Christian and an atheist and also a Satanist, when he wasn't simply undead, or in some other way inhuman. It is perhaps more precise to say that Trakl never existed, except as a battlefield, a reservoir of disease, the graveyard of a deconsecrated church, as something expiring from a massive cocaine overdose on the floor of a military hospital, cheated by lucidity by the searing onslaught of base difference.
Nick Land (Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007)
Drug addicts, especially young ones, are conformists flocking together in sticky groups, and I do not write for groups, nor approve of group therapy (the big scene in the Freudian farce); as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate, a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts. Young dunces who turn to drugs cannot read “Lolita,” or any of my books, some in fact cannot read at all. Let me also observe that the term “square” already dates as a slang word, for nothing dates quicker than conservative youth, nor is there anything more philistine, more bourgeois, more ovine than this business of drug duncery. Half a century ago, a similar fashion among the smart set of St. Petersburg was cocaine sniffing combined with phony orientalities. The better and brighter minds of my young American readers are far removed from those juvenile fads and faddists. I also used to know in the past a Communist agent who got so involved in trying to wreck anti-Bolshevist groups by distributing drugs among them that he became an addict himself and lapsed into a dreamy state of commendable metempsychic sloth. He must be grazing today on some grassy slope in Tibet if he has not yet lined the coat of his fortunate shepherd.
Vladimir Nabokov (Strong Opinions)
Can these foods [low-fat, vitamin-enriched, etc] even be called "healthy"? Perhaps we should think about it this way: If you cut a batch of pharmaceutical-grade cocaine with chai, you could say with some degree of honesty that it is "healthier," "less addictive," and "now with chai!" But would you say it's "good for you"?
Mark Schatzker (The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor)
Define a lot of coffee . . . ,” I said, knowing that my caffeine consumption would probably make Juan Valdez pack up his donkey and run for the hills of Colombia. I was almost embarrassed to admit the amount of coffee I would drink in one day, for fear that he would 5150 me and send me off in a straitjacket to the nearest Caffeine Anonymous meeting. I had recently come to terms with this addiction, realizing that maybe five pots of coffee a day was slightly overdoing it, but I hadn’t accepted the dire consequences until now. Unfortunately, I’m THAT guy. Give me one, I want ten. There is a reason why I still to this day have never done cocaine, because deep down I know that if I did coke the same way I drink coffee, I’d be sucking dicks at the bus stop every morning for an eight ball.
Dave Grohl (The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music)
Every addiction story wants a villain. But America has never been able to decide whether addicts are victims or criminals, whether addiction is an illness or a crime. So we relieve the pressure of cognitive dissonance with various provisions of psychic labor - some addicts got pitied, others get blamed - that keep overlapping and evolving to suit our purposes: Alcoholics are tortured geniuses. Drug addicts are deviant zombies. Male drunks are thrilling. Female drunks are bad moms. White addicts get their suffering witnessed. Addicts of color get punished. Celebrity addicts get posh rehab with equine therapy. Poor addicts get hard time. Someone carrying crack gets five years in prison, while someone driving drunk gets a night in jail, even though drunk driving kills more people every year than cocaine. In her seminal account of mass incarceration, The New Jim Crow, legal scholar Michelle Alexander points out that many of these biases tell a much larger story about 'who is viewed as disposable - someone to be purged from the body politic - and who is not.' They aren't incidental discrepancies - between black and white addicts, drinkers and drug users - but casualties of our need to vilify some people under the guise of protecting others.
Leslie Jamison (The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath)
Rats given sweetened water in experiments find it significantly more pleasurable than cocaine, even when they’re addicted to the latter, and more than heroin as well (although the rats find this choice more difficult to make). Addict
Gary Taubes (The Case Against Sugar)
Oliver, it transpired, was addicted to alcohol and cocaine, and Gabriel was addicted primarily to Oliver; then, as an inevitable accompaniment, to Oliver’s own addictions, at first for Oliver’s approval, and later – as tended to be the case – because he couldn’t stop doing them.
Abigail Dean (Girl A)
Think of cocaine. In its natural form, as coca leaves, it's appealing, but not to an extent that it usually becomes a problem. But refine it, purify it, and you get a compound that hits your pleasure receptors with an unnatural intensity. That's when it becomes addictive. Beauty has undergone a similar process, thanks to advertisers.Evolution gave us a circuit that responds to good looks--call it the pleasure receptor for our visual cortex--and in our natural environment, it was useful to have. But take a person with one-in-a-million skin and bone structure, add professional makeup and retouching, and you're no longer looking at beauty in its natural form. You've got pharmaceutical grade beauty, the cocaine of good looks.
Ted Chiang
It’s not the drug that causes the junkie it’s the laws that causes the junkie because of course the drug laws means that he can’t go and get help because he is afraid of being arrested. He also can’t have a normal life because the war on drugs has made drugs so expensive and has made drug contracts unenforceable which means they can only be enforced through criminal violence. It becomes so profitable to sell drugs to addicts that the drug dealers have every incentive to get people addicted by offering free samples and to concentrate their drug to the highest possible dose to provoke the greatest amount of addiction as possible. Overall it is a completely staggering and completely satanic human calamity. It is the new gulag and in some ways much more brutal than the soviet gulag. In the soviet gulags there was not a huge prison rape problem and in this situation your life could be destroyed through no fault of your own through sometimes, no involvement of your own and the people who end up in the drug culture are walled off and separated as a whole and thrown into this demonic, incredibly dangerous, underworld were the quality of the drugs can’t be verified. Were contracts can’t be enforced except through breaking peoples kneecaps and the price of drugs would often led them to a life of crime. People say “well, I became a drug addict and I lost my house, family, and my job and all that.” It’s not because you became a drug addict but, because there is a war on drugs which meant that you had to pay so much for the drugs that you lost your house because you couldn't go and find help or substitutes and ended up losing your job. It’s all nonsense. The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons for heaven’s sakes. The war on drugs is not designed to be won. Its designed to continue so that the government can get the profits of drug running both directly through the CIA and other drug runners that are affiliated or through bribes and having the power of terrorizing the population. To frame someone for murder is pretty hard but to palm a packet of cocaine and say that you found it in their car is pretty damn easy and the government loves having that power." -Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux
His mom was high when Whitey was born. She was also high when she named him. Esmerelda was the name of her sister, the only person in the world who ever treated her decently, and Torno was short for tornado, because that’s how it felt when Whitey came out. Whitey’s mom had a penchant for the cocaine.
Joey Truman (Postal Child)
Bread addiction is little different from that of alcohol or cocaine or heroin addiction, and sometimes it seems even more dangerous. Did you ever see a fat man praying for the soul of some poor alcoholic or drug addict? Yet he couldn’t stop his own helping of whole wheat toast for breakfast to save his soul.
Blake F. Donaldson (Strong Medicine)
I have done coke off the porcelain backs of public bathroom toilets, but mirrored trays lend some faux class to inhaling cartilage-eating drugs up your nose. The idea becomes alluring and a little more acceptable when mirrored trays are involved. "Excuse me, sir.. I will have some of that high class cocaine".
Helen Knott (Becoming a Matriarch: A Memoir)
Being bold and adventurous and being sad and cautious seem like opposite personality types. However, these two paths to addiction are actually not mutually exclusive. The third way involves having both kinds of traits, where people alternatively fear and desire novelty and behavior swings from being impulsive and rash to being compulsive, fear driven, and stuck in rigid patterns. This is where some of the contradictions that have long confounded the study of addiction come into play—namely, some aspects seem precisely planned out, while others are obviously related to lack of restraint. My own story spirals around this paradoxical situation: I was driven enough to excel academically and fundamentally scared of change and of other people—yet I was also reckless enough to sell cocaine and shoot heroin.
Maia Szalavitz (Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction)
He died at forty-two. I was there to collect his talent. I was there at the hospital deathbed of my beloved Billie Holiday, just forty-four, her liver destroyed by drinking; I was there inside the hotel room of Charlie Parker, my singular jazz saxophonist, who died in his midthirties, but whose body was so ravaged by drugs the coroners thought he was sixty. Tommy Dorsey, the bandleader, choked in his sleep when he was fifty-one, too deep in pills to awaken. Johnny Allen Hendrix (you called him Jimi) swallowed a handful of barbiturates and expired. He was twenty-seven. It is not new, this idea that a purer art awaits you in a substance. But it is naive. I existed before the first grapes were fermented. Before the first whiskey was distilled. Be it opium or absinthe, marijuana or heroin, cocaine or ecstasy or whatever will follow, you may alter your state, but you will not alter this truth: I am Music. I am here inside you. Why would I hide behind a powder or a vapor? Do you think me so petty?
Mitch Albom (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto)
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to the dopamine system, and that is addiction. Addictive drugs take over the role of reward signals that feed into the dopamine neurons. Gambling, pornography, and drugs such as cocaine cause the brain to flood itself with dopamine in response. So, too, do addictive ideas, most notably addictive bad ideas, such as those propagated by cults that lead to mass suicides (think Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate), or those propagated by religions that lead to suicide bombing (think 9/11 and 7/7).
Michael Shermer (The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths)
Well, I totally understand why people take huge drugs. Like heroin, or cocaine. I can understand why you would want to be literally out of your own head, because being in your own head is unbearable. In fact, the reason I haven't taken drugs like that is because I know that it would be so good to be out of my own head that I wouldn't be able to stop
Alyssa Brugman
What the Addict is seeking (though he doesn’t know it) is the ultimate and continuous “orgasm,” the ultimate and continuous “high.” This is why he rides from village to village and from adventure to adventure. This is why he goes from one woman to another. Each time his woman confronts him with her mortality, her finitude, her weakness and limitations, hence shattering his dream of this time finding the orgasm without end—in other words, when the excitement of the illusion of perfect union with her (with the world, with God) becomes tarnished—he saddles his horse and rides out looking for renewal of his ecstasy. He needs his “fix” of masculine joy. He really does. He just doesn’t know where to look for it. He ends by looking for his “spirituality” in a line of cocaine. Psychologists talk about the problems that stem from a man’s possession by the Addict as “boundary issues.” For the man possessed by the Addict, there are no boundaries. As we’ve said, the Lover does not want to be limited. And, when we are possessed by him, we cannot stand to be limited.
Robert L. Moore (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine)
Compared with the addiction to perfect forms, cocaine is a pastime for stationmasters. But
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
Harold Nicholson later wrote to Vita, "When you fall into Violet's hands, you become like a jellyfish addicted to cocaine.
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon (Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women)
To get her husband back, Krista had to let him go and it killed her.
Doreen Dyet (Addiction Heartbreak: a story of taking your life back when someone you love is dealing with cocaine addiction)
It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict. It is the need to escape from a harsh reality. —SHIRLEY CHISHOLM
Carl L. Hart (High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society)
He explained that frequent cocaine use increases the levels of adrenaline in the brain, which dramatically ups the odds of having a panic attack.
Dan Harris (10% Happier)
To make a current example, the world can find human interest in the death and the love affairs and the pallid addiction to cocaine of Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
John Albert Macy (Edgar Allan Poe)
She's cocaine with legs, and I'm a fucking addict before I've even had a taste.
T.M. Frazier (Up in Smoke (King, #8))
Sugar does induce the same responses in the region of the brain known as the “reward center”—technically, the nucleus accumbens—as do nicotine, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. Addiction
Gary Taubes (The Case Against Sugar)
All you have to do is not fuck it up. Is it really that hard?” Was he kidding? Of course it was that hard. Did he think the entire zip code of Hollywood wanted to be addicted to painkillers, alcohol, cocaine, and plastic surgery? Did he reckon I was just so bored with my perfect, wholesome life? Finding happiness as an intelligent person was like finding a real-life unicorn.
L.J. Shen (Midnight Blue)
I was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid fifties and I was given Ritalin and Dexedrine. These are stimulant medications. They elevate the level of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. And dopamine is the motivation chemical, so when you are more motivated you pay attention. Your mind won't be all over the place. So we elevate dopamine levels with stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Aderall, Dexedrine and so on. But what else elevates Dopamine levels? Well, all other stimulants do. What other stimulants? Cocaine, crystal meth, caffeine, nicotine, which is to say that a significant minority of people that use stimulants, illicit stimulants, you know what they are actually doing? They're self-medicating their ADHD or their depression or their anxiety. So on one level (and we have to go deeper that that), but on one level addictions are about self-medications. If you look at alcoholics in one study, 40% of male adult alcoholics met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD? Why? Because alcohol soothes the hyperactive brain. Cannabis does the same thing. And in studies of stimulant addicts, about 30% had ADHD prior to their drug use. What else do people self-medicate? Someone mentioned depression. So, if you have been treated for depression, as I have been, and you were given a SSRI medication, these medications elevate the level of another brain chemical called serotonin, which is implicated in mood regulation. What else elevates serotonin levels temporarily in the brain? Cocaine does. People use cocaine to self-medicate depression. People use alcohol, cannabis and opiates to self-medicate anxiety. Incidentally people also use gambling or shopping to self-medicate because these activities also elevate dopamine levels in the brain. There is no difference between one addiction and the other. They're just different targets, but the brain systems that are involved and the target chemicals are the same, no matter what the addiction. So people self-medicate anxiety, depression. People self-medicate bipolar disorder with alcohol. People self-medicate Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. So, one way to understand addictions is that they're self-medicating. And that's important to understand because if you are working with people who are addicted it is really important to know what's going on in their lives and why are they doing this. So apart from the level of comfort and pain relief, there's usually something diagnosible that's there at the same time. And you have to pay attention to that. At least you have to talk about it.
Gabor Maté
The society is getting addicted to technology, especially social media, quite like one gets addicted to cocaine or pot. And it all works through the neurochemical process of reward and punishment. And furthermore, when a whole world starts functioning driven by this petty instinctual process of reward and punishment, things in existence begin to get really messed up, like it has already started.
Abhijit Naskar (Conscience over Nonsense)
What’s more, an ever-increasing amount of clinical research correlates screen tech with psychiatric disorders like ADHD, addiction, anxiety, depression, increased aggression and even psychosis. Perhaps most shocking of all, recent brain-imaging studies conclusively show that excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a young person’s developing brain in the same way that cocaine addiction can. That’s
Nicholas Kardaras (Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids - and How to Break the Trance)
Still, I knew rehab was important. So I listened. I went to every class. I held hands with strangers. With suburban mummies who’d gotten addicted to prescription pills, and a preacher’s son who’d fallen into the arms of heroin, and a Russian oligarch’s daughter who, like me, had snorted pounds and pounds of cocaine to numb the feeling that the world was closing in on you from all angles. I wrote letters to my family and friends. Angry letters. Apologetic letters. Funny letters. Then I burned them all. I couldn’t write Stardust shite, though. Everything I had to say to her—every single groveling word—had to be said in person.
L.J. Shen (Midnight Blue)
Remember those cocaine addicts whose dopamine receptors (the tiny hands that grab neurochemicals) decreased after repeated drug use? Cocaine blasts the reward circuitry so that it pumps out massive amounts of exciting dopamine. This accounts for the high. Then two things happen simultaneously. First, the high begins to fade as the brain disposes of the extra dopamine. Second, because so much excess dopamine can damage or kill nerve cells, the cells protect themselves by reducing the number of dopamine receptors (little “hands”) on their surfaces. If a thunderstorm rolls in, you close all the windows and wait for it to pass. That’s what the cells do, except they assume that another storm is on the way, and stay closed up for a while. The addict has lowered her sensitivity to dopamine—a substance that helped give her the high. Now our addict feels rotten. She has two choices: Take more cocaine to jack up her mood artificially by saturating the remaining dopamine receptors, or suffer withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms arise when the reward circuitry is starving for dopamine. Whether you have too few receptors for dopamine, or too little dopamine circulating around the nerve cells, you get the same result. Your reward circuitry batteries are low, leaving you with an acute desire to feel normal again.
Marnia Robinson (Cupid's Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships)
It’s easy to look back at how little Freud and Pemberton understood of cocaine with a sense of superiority. We teach our children that cocaine is dangerous, and it’s hard to believe that experts considered the drug a panacea only a century ago. But perhaps our sense of superiority is misplaced. Just as cocaine charmed Freud and Pemberton, today we’re enamored of technology. We’re willing to overlook its costs for its many gleaming benefits:
Adam Alter (Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked)
Veeva should count her blessings. Three years ago it was cocaine and a year ago it was crack and lemme tell you, that stuff you got to have. You do anything for that high." He laughed again, savoring his memories. "Where do you think the furniture went? Up my nose, that’s where. She finally had me carted out of here screaming like an insane man. Spent some time in Bellevue with little sparkly bugs coming out my orifices. Compared to that being a drunk is practically a sensible existence.
Dan Ahearn (Shoot the Moon)
when you eat sugar, according to research by Bartley Hoebel of Princeton University, it triggers a response in the same part of the brain—known as the “reward center”—that is targeted by cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, and other addictive substances.
Anonymous
Studies on primates and other animals have also shown that low social status and being dominated enhance the risk of drug use, with negative effects on dopamine receptors. By contrast, after being housed with more subordinate animals, dominant monkeys had an increase of over 20 percent of their dopamine receptors and a decrease in their tendency to use cocaine.7 The findings of stress research suggest that the issue is not control over others, but whether one is free to exercise control in one’s own life.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
The brain scans and mood swings of an infatuated lover, scientists have recently discovered, look remarkably similar to the brain scans and mood swings of a cocaine addict— and not surprisingly, as it turns out, because infatuation is an addiction, with measurable chemical effects on the brain. As the anthropologist and infatuation expert Dr. Helen Fisher has explained, infatuated lovers, just like any junkie, “will go to unhealthy, humiliating, and even physically dangerous lengths to procure their narcotic.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace With Marriage)
It’s one of the first things an intelligent man like Kevin, who comes to the church later in life, notices. There is a pervasive incongruity between the church’s theology and the way most of us in the church live.” “Hypocrisy.” “One of its faces, yes. Hypocrisy. Saying one thing but doing another. Studying to be a priest while hiding a small cocaine addiction, for example. The world flushes this out and cries scandal. But the more ominous face isn’t nearly so obvious. This is what interested Kevin the most. He was quite astute, really.” “I’m not sure I follow. What’s not so obvious?” “The evil that lies in all of us,” the professor said. “Not blatant hypocrisy, but deception. Not even realizing that the sin we regularly commit is sin at all. Going about life honestly believing that we are pure when all along we are riddled with sin.” She looked at his gentle smile, taken by the simplicity of his words. “A preacher stands against the immorality of adultery, but all the while he harbors anger toward the third parishioner from the left because the parishioner challenged one of his teachings three months ago. Is anger not as evil as adultery? Or a woman who scorns the man across the aisle for alcoholic indiscretions, while she routinely gossips about him after services. Is gossip not as evil as any vice? What’s especially damaging in both cases is that neither the man who harbors anger nor the woman who gossips seriously considers the evil of their own actions. Their sins remain hidden. This is the true cancer in the church.
Ted Dekker (Thr3e)
We now know—because it has been scientifically proven—that sugar is more powerfully addictive than alcohol, cocaine, or even heroin (and if you’re thinking about going for diet soda instead, take note: Artificial sweeteners may be more addictive than regular sugar).
Mark Hyman (The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet: Activate Your Body's Natural Ability to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast (The Dr. Hyman Library Book 3))
Why does chronic self-administration of cocaine reduce the density of dopamine receptors? It’s a simple matter of brain economics. The brain is accustomed to a certain level of dopamine activity. If it is flooded with artificially high dopamine levels, it seeks to restore the equilibrium by reducing the number of receptors where the dopamine can act. This mechanism helps to explain the phenomenon of tolerance, by which the user has to inject, ingest, or inhale higher and higher doses of a substance to get the same effect as before.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
There is a recurrent and selective amnesia that the greatest drug harms -- including addiction -- are almost always caused by legal products: morphine and cocaine in the nineteenth century, stimulants and sedatives in the mid-twentieth century, opioids more recently, and, throughout and always, alcohol and tobacco.
Carl Erik Fisher (The Urge: Our History of Addiction)
It was a newsmagazine she was reading, something she hadn’t done for quite a while—she turned one page quickly, because she couldn’t stand to look at the president’s face: His close-set eyes, the jut of his chin, the sight offended her viscerally. She had lived through a lot of things with this country, but she had never lived through the mess they were in now. Here was a man who looked retarded, Olive thought, remembering the remark made by the woman in Moody’s store. You could see it in his stupid little eyes. And the country had voted him in! A born-again Christian with a cocaine addiction. So they deserved to go to hell, and would.
Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge)
final day of the original experiment. When the scientists examined the rats’ brains, they saw cocaine-induced changes in the rats’ reward pathways consistent with persistent cocaine sensitization. These findings show that a drug like cocaine can alter the brain forever. Similar findings have been shown with other addictive substances, from alcohol to opioids to cannabis. In my clinical work I see people who struggle with severe addiction slipping right back into compulsive use with a single exposure, even after years of abstinence. This may occur because of persistent sensitization to the drug of choice, the distant echoes of earlier drug use.
Anna Lembke (Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence)
In the late '80s and early '90s, the media used a few small studies of babies born of cocaine-addicted mothers to convince America that thousands of children were permanently damaged... It isn't true. It turns out there is no proof that crack babies do worse than anyone else. In fact, they do better, on average, than children born of alcoholic mothers... It wasn't until several years later that the myth started to unravel. Emory University psychologist Claire Coles had her graduate students spend hours observing 'crack babies' and normal babies. Her students did not see what Chasnoff had seen. In fact, they were unable to tell which children had been exposed to cocaine.
John Stossel (Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...)
I think before I ever became an alcoholic, before I even tasted alcohol or tried drugs, I was already programmed to be this way. Before there was cocaine or vodka or sex or any of that, there was fantasy. There was escape. That was my first addiction. I remember being a little kid and imagining everything different, myself different. How did I get the idea in my head at age eight that everything was better somewhere else? Why would a child have a hole inside that can’t get full no matter what she does? The real world could never make me happy, so I retreated to the world inside my head. And as I grew, as the real world proved itself more and more painful, the fantasy world expanded.
Amy Reed (Clean)
That first year in L.A., Richard became addicted to cocaine. It was 1978, and coke was the “in” drug, selling for $100 per gram. This was prior to the Colombian cartels applying modern corporate techniques to the importation and distribution of cocaine in the States, which brought the price of a gram down to thirty-five dollars by the mid-eighties.
Philip Carlo (The Night Stalker: The Disturbing Life and Chilling Crimes of Richard Ramirez)
Heroin has a frightening reputation, and rightly so: the margin between an effective dose and an overdose is narrower than that of any other mainstream narcotic. A paper in Addiction, an academic journal, estimated the quantity of various drugs needed to get an average person high versus the amount required to kill them.5 In the case of alcohol, it found that the ratio was about ten to one—in other words, if a couple of shots of vodka are enough to make you tipsy, twenty shots might kill you, if you can keep them down. Cocaine, it found, was slightly safer, with a ratio of fifteen to one. LSD has a ratio of 1,000 to one, whereas marijuana is safest of all: it is impossible to die of overdose, as far as anyone can tell. Even with the edibles, there is no evidence that one can die of overdose—you simply have a stronger and longer-lasting effect than you may have wanted. For heroin, the ratio between an effective dose and a deadly one is just six to one. Given that batches vary dramatically in their purity, each shot is a game of Russian roulette. Dealers
Tom Wainwright (Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel)
The terribly tragic outcome of Halsted’s experiments with cocaine was his own addiction. The doctor began injecting cocaine directly into his veins for its stimulative effects, quickly becoming an addict. Eventually, he was sent to Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, where the recognized treatment for drug addiction was injecting the patient with large doses of morphine.
Lydia Kang (Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything)
We are supposed to consume alcohol and enjoy it, but we're not supposed to become alcoholics. Imagine if this were the same with cocaine. Imagine we grew up watching our parents snort lines at dinner, celebrations, sporting events, brunches, and funerals. We'd sometimes (or often) see our parents coked out of our minds the way we sometimes (or often) see them drunk. We'd witness them coming down after a cocaine binge the way we see them recovering from a hangover. Kiosks at Disneyland would see it so our parents could make it through a day of fun, our mom's book club would be one big blow-fest and instead of "mommy juice" it would be called "mommy powder" There'd be coke-tasting parties in Napa and cocaine cellars in fancy people's homes, and everyone we know (including our pastors, nurses, teachers, coaches, bosses) would snort it. The message we'd pick up as kids could be Cocaine is great, and one day you'll get to try it, too! Just don't become addicted to it or take it too far. Try it; use it responsibly. Don't become a cocaine-oholic though. Now, I'm sure you're thinking. That's insane, everyone knows cocaine is far more addicting than alcohol and far more dangerous. Except, it's not...The point is not that alcohol is worse than cocaine. The point is that we have a really clear understanding that cocaine is toxic and addictive. We know there's no safe amount of it, no such thing as "moderate" cocaine use; we know it can hook us and rob us of everything we care about...We know we are better off not tangling with it at all.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
Far more than a quest for pleasure, chronic substance use is the addict’s attempt to escape distress. From a medical point of view, addicts are self-medicating conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress or even ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Addictions always originate in pain, whether felt openly or hidden in the unconscious. They are emotional anaesthetics. Heroin and cocaine, both powerful physical painkillers, also ease psychological discomfort. Infant animals separated from their mothers can be soothed readily by low doses of narcotics, just as if it was actual physical pain they were enduring. The pain pathways in humans are no different. The very same brain centres that interpret and “feel” physical pain also become activated during the experience of emotional rejection: on brain scans they “light up” in response to social ostracism just as they would when triggered by physically harmful stimuli. When people speak of feeling “hurt” or of having emotional “pain,” they are not being abstract or poetic but scientifically quite precise. The hard-drug addict’s life has been marked by a surfeit of pain. No wonder she desperately craves relief.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
A Republican, then?” Jack asked, after a moment. “Oh, for God’s sake.” Olive stopped walking, looked at him through her sunglasses. “I didn’t say moron. You mean because we have a cowboy for a president? Or before that an actor who played a cowboy? Let me tell you, that idiot ex-cocaine-addict was never a cowboy. He can wear all the cowboy hats he wants. He’s a spoiled brat to the manor born. And he makes me puke.
Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge)
I grew up being told, "If you do marijuana you'll be a slave for the rest of your life," and it only took me ten minutes to realize smoking marijuana was pretty cool. Then it was, "If you take LSD you'll be a slave for the rest of your life. Then it got to be, "If you take cocaine, you'll be slave for life." I took LSD, and I wasn't a slave for life. There was a time when I thought, "Hey, I've been taking Heroin for six months and I feel fine. You know, just on weekends." I actually believed that you didn't have to become addicted. I was wrong. The most important thing out of this is, don't lie to the kids. If marijuana is not going to make you homeless and addicted, don't tell people it is, because they'll found out it doesn't, then when they get to the stuff that really WILL, they ain't gonna believe you." - Dickie Peterson
Jon Wiederhorn (Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal)
I went upstairs and tried to talk some sense into her but it was a waste of time. When she was high, she would babble about whatever came into her head. It was painful to watch and even worse to listen to. At one point Amy told me to cancel a proposed deal to license a perfume with her name attached to it. ‘I don’t want to hurt my credibility,’ she told me, as she sat there high on crack. ‘Hurt your credibility? What do you think smoking crack cocaine is doing to your credibility?’ It was an impossible conversation. I stormed out, with Amy shouting for me to come back. I felt as low as I’d ever been. I didn’t think Amy would die, but I just couldn’t see a way out of this. You don’t become an expert in anything overnight, and I was still learning how best to deal with an addict. Somehow or other I had to speed up the learning process.
Mitch Winehouse
In 15 years of working with teenage drug abusers, I’ve never found a single one who was what I’d call only a chemical addict. As powerful as many of the current market drugs are, especially cocaine and crack, I’ve never yet worked with an addict who didn’t have the inner emptiness. I’ve been in my personal recovery for 30 years and I’ve never met a person in recovery from chemical abuse who didn’t have abandonment issues in the sense I have defined them.
John Bradshaw (Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem)
You’ve probably also noted the impacts of virtual distraction on your own and others’ behaviors: memory loss, inability to concentrate, being asked to repeat what you just said, miscommunication the norm, getting lost online and wasting time you don’t have, withdrawing from the real world. The list of what’s being lost is a description of our best human capacities—memory, meaning, relating, thinking, learning, caring. There is no denying the damage that’s been done to humans as technology took over—our own Progress Trap. The impact on children’s behavior is of greatest concern for its present and future implications. Dr. Nicolas Kardaras, a highly skilled physician in rehabilitation, is author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance. He describes our children’s behavior in ways that I notice in my younger grandchildren: “We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.”17 These very disturbing behaviors are not just emotional childish reactions. Our children are behaving as addicts deprived of their drug. Brain imaging studies show that technology stimulates brains just like cocaine does.
Margaret J. Wheatley (Who Do We Choose to Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity)
I chose people who made me feel anxious and insecure and re-created my childhood circumstances of getting erratic attention. I gravitated toward people who were either physically or emotionally unavailable to subconsciously ensure I was getting a constant hit from my “internal drug cabinet.” Instead of heroin or cocaine, I used to be addicted to cortisol and adrenaline (which turns into dopamine! Yay!). That drove me to pick people who couldn’t give me safety or stability, which caused those chemicals to go buck wild on my brain. You live in London? Yes, please. You work until three A.M., and when you are available, you’re super tired, so every time we have the chance to connect, your eyes are half closed? Sure, let’s move in together. One day you tell me you’re in love with me, but then you disappear and go on a week-long bender on Long Island? Absolutely. You travel for four months at a time in places that have horrible cell service? Don’t mind if I do marry ya.
Whitney Cummings (I'm Fine...And Other Lies)
The tattoos around his eyes burned as he scanned the surrounding area. No one but him probably noticed, but the plumes of darkness branching in every direction were writhing and groaning, desperate to avoid the light of the moon and street lamps. Come to me, he beseeched them. They didn’t hesitate. As if they’d merely been waiting for the invitation, they danced toward him, flattening against his car, shielding it—and thereby him—from prying eyes. “Freaks me out every damn time you do that,” Rowan said as he crawled into the front passenger seat. For the first time, Sean’s friend had accompanied him to “keep you from doing something you’ll regret.” Not that Gabby had known. Rowan had lain in the backseat the entire drive. “I can’t see a damn thing.” “I can.” Sean’s gaze could cut through shadows as easily as a knife through butter. Gabby was in the process of settling behind the wheel of her car. Though more than two weeks had passed since their kiss, they hadn’t touched again. Not even a brush of fingers. He was becoming desperate for more. That kiss . . . it was the hottest of his life. He’d forgotten where he was, what—and who—was around him. He’d never, never, risked discovery like that. But that night, having Gabby so close, those lush lips of hers parted and ready, those brown eyes watching him as if he were something delicious, he’d been unable to stop himself. He’d beckoned the shadows around them, meshed their lips together, touched her in places a man should only touch a woman in private, and tasted her. Oh, had he tasted her. Sugar and lemon. Which meant she’d been sipping lemonade during her breaks. Lemonade had never been sexy to him before. Now he was addicted to the stuff. Drank it every chance he got. Hell, he sported a hard-on if he even spotted the yellow fruit. At night he thought about pouring lemon juice over her lean body, sprinkling that liquid with sugar, and then feasting. She’d come, he’d come, and then they could do it all over again. Seriously. Lemonade was like his own personal brand of cocaine now—which he’d once been addicted to, had spent years in rehab combating, and had sworn never to let himself become so obsessed with a substance again. Good luck with that. “I’m getting nowhere with her,” Rowan said. “You, she watches. You, she kissed.” “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.” Gabby’s car passed his and he accelerated, staying close enough to her that anyone trying to merge into her lane wouldn’t clip his car because they couldn’t see him. Not that anyone was out and about at this time of night. “She’s mine. I don’t want you touching her.” “Finally. The truth. Which is a good thing, because I already called Bill and told him you were gonna be the one to seduce her.” “Thanks.” This was one of the reasons he and Rowan were such good friends. “But I thought you were here tonight to keep me from her.” “First, you’re welcome. Second, I lied.
Gena Showalter (The Bodyguard (Includes: T-FLAC, #14.5))
ACCORDING TO SCIENTISTS, THERE ARE three stages of love: lust, attraction, and attachment. And, it turns out, each of the stages is orchestrated by chemicals—neurotransmitters—in the brain. As you might expect, lust is ruled by testosterone and estrogen. The second stage, attraction, is governed by dopamine and serotonin. When, for example, couples report feeling indescribably happy in each other’s presence, that’s dopamine, the pleasure hormone, doing its work. Taking cocaine fosters the same level of euphoria. In fact, scientists who study both the brains of new lovers and cocaine addicts are hard-pressed to tell the difference. The second chemical of the attraction phase is serotonin. When couples confess that they can’t stop thinking about each other, it’s because their serotonin level has dropped. People in love have the same low serotonin levels as people with OCD. The reason they can’t stop thinking about each other is that they are literally obsessed. Oxytocin and vasopressin control the third stage: attachment or long-term bonding. Oxytocin is released during orgasm and makes you feel closer to the person you’ve had sex with. It’s also released during childbirth and helps bond mother to child. Vasopressin is released postcoitally.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Cocaine exerts its euphoric effect by increasing the availability of the reward chemical dopamine in key brain circuits, and this is necessary for motivation and for mental and physical energy. Flooded with artificially high levels of dopamine triggered by external substances, the brain’s own mechanisms of dopamine secretion become lazy. They stop functioning at anywhere near full capacity, relying on the artificial boosters instead. Only long months of abstinence allow the intrinsic machinery of dopamine production to regenerate, and in the meantime, the addict will experience extremes of physical and emotional exhaustion.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
It would take me all night to tell about Old Bull Lee; let's just say now, he was a teacher, and it may be said that he had every right to teach because he spent all his time learning; and the things he learned were what he considered to be and called "the facts of life," which he learned, not only out of necessity but because he wanted to. He dragged his long, thin body around the entire United States and most of Europe and North Africa in his time, only to see what was going on.... there are pictures of him with the international cocaine set of the thirties — gangs with wild hair, leaning on one another, there are other pictures of him in a Panama hat, surveying the streets of Algiers.... He was an exterminator in Chicago, a bartender in New York, a summons-server in Newark. In Paris he sat at cafe tables, watching the sullen French faces go by. In Athens he looked up from his ouzo at what he called the ugliest people in the world. In Istanbul he threaded his way through crowds of opium addicts and rug-sellers, looking for the facts. In Chicago he planned to hold up a Turkish bath, hesitated just for two minutes too long for a drink, and, wound up with two dollars and had to make a run for it. He did all these things merely for the experience....
Jack Kerouac
Studies on primates and other animals have also shown that low social status and being dominated enhance the risk of drug use, with negative effects on dopamine receptors. By contrast, after being housed with more subordinate animals, dominant monkeys had an increase of over 20 per cent of their dopamine receptors and less tendency to use cocaine. The findings of stress research suggest that the issue is not control over others, but whether one is free to exercise control in one’s own life. Yet the practices of the social welfare, legal and medical systems subject the addict to domination in many ways and deprive her of control, even if unwittingly.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
I can remember many, many times driving down to the projects telling myself ‘You don’t want to do this! You don’t want to do this!’ But I’d do it anyway.” “[M]y body’s saying no and my mind’s saying no, but … we started all over again. I didn’t need it, I didn’t want it … it’s like some kind of molecular thing in my cells would go for it, you know. I felt like a fucking robot.” “I used to smoke some [cocaine] that wasn’t good, feel sick and want some more. That’s totally fucking crazy. The point that is best learned from the whole experience is the craziness, the completely illogical short-circuiting of the normal human mental process that takes place in obsessive addiction.
Maia Szalavitz (Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction)
I am not of sound mind. I cannot seem to stop moving - as I write this I have clocked 7,000 miles by truck in the last thirty days and I am hunkered in a motel room high in the Rocky Mountains and yet no nearer to God. I seek roots, just so long as they can accommodate themselves to around seventy-five miles and hour and no unseemly whining about rest stops or sit down dinners. I am, I suspect, a basic American, a perpetual violation that loves the land and cannot kick the addiction of velocity. A person fated never to settle yet always seeking the place to settle. Like cocaine-powered athletes, lying presidents, Miss America, and the Internal Revenue Service, I am not a role model. I am always hungry.
Charles Bowden (Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America)
Opiates don't only relieve physical pain, they also relieve emotional pain. It turns out that the same part of the brain that experiences the suffering of physical pain also experiences the suffering of social rejection, for example. The sources and pathways of the pain are different, but the suffering is experienced in the same part of the brain, where opiate receptors are abudantly present. And if you look at alcohol, it's a pain-reliever. In fact, you know, the old saying, when someone drank too much they used to say "he's feeling no pain". Cocaine.. is a local anesthetic it numbs nerve endings. Cannabis has pain-relieving qualities. All the behaviors of addiction, whether they are substance-related or not, either directly soothe pain, emotional pain, or they distract from it. So my mantra and the first question in addiction is not "why the addiction?", but "why the pain?" And if want to understand why people have pain, you got to look at their lives, not at their genes, not at their choices, but what actually happened to them.
Gabor Maté
So just take a look at the different prosecution rates and sentencing rules for ghetto drugs like crack and suburban drugs like cocaine, or for drunk drivers and drug users, or just between blacks and whites in general―the statistics are clear: this is a war on the poor and minorities. Or ask yourself a simple question: how come marijuana is illegal but tobacco legal? It can't be because of the health impact, because that's exactly the other way around―there has never been a fatality from marijuana use among million reported users in the United States, whereas tobacco kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. My strong suspicion, though I don't know how to prove it, is that the reason is that marijuana's a weed, you can grow it in your backyard, so there's nobody who would make any money off it if it were legal. Tobacco requires extensive capital inputs and technology, and it can be monopolized, so there are people who can make a ton of money off it. I don't really see any other difference between the two of them, frankly―except that tobacco's far more lethal and far more addictive.
Noam Chomsky
He dragged his long, thin body around the entire United States and most of Europe and North Africa in his time, only to see what was going on; he married a White Russian countess in Yugoslavia to get her away from the Nazis in the thirties; there are pictures of him with the international cocaine set of the thirties—gangs with wild hair, leaning on one another; there are other pictures of him in a Panama hat, surveying the streets of Algiers; he never saw the White Russian countess again. He was an exterminator in Chicago, a bartender in New York, a summons-server in Newark. In Paris he sat at café tables, watching the sullen French faces go by. In Athens he looked up from his ouzo at what he called the ugliest people in the world. In Istanbul he threaded his way through crowds of opium addicts and rug-sellers, looking for the facts. In English hotels he read Spengler and the Marquis de Sade. In Chicago he planned to hold up a Turkish bath, hesitated just for two minutes too long for a drink, and wound up with two dollars and had to make a run for it. He did all these things merely for the experience.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
Looking for this?” V held up a vial full of powder and tilted the thing back and forth, all tick-tock. “Mmm?” It was pathetic the way the fucker’s eyes latched on and bugged out. But V knew what that was like—how you needed the very burn you didn’t want, how it became all you could think of, how you withered from the not having of it. Thank God for Jane. Without her, he’d be walking that stretch of gnawing and ever-empty still. “And he doesn’t even deny how much he needs it,” V murmured as he approached the bed. Dayum, as the poor bastard reached out, it was clear that Assail’s hands were shaking too badly for him to hold on to anything. “Allow me, motherfucker.” Twisting the black top off, V turned the little brown bottle over and made a line down the inside of his own forearm. Assail took that shit like a pile driver, snorting half up one nostril, half up the other. Then he fell back against the hospital bed like he had a broken leg and his morphine drip had finally kicked in. And yup, from a clinical standpoint, it was a sad commentary on the SOB’s state that a stimulant like cocaine was bringing him down. But that was addiction for you. No damn sense. “Now, you want to try this again?” V muttered as he licked his arm clean and tasted bitterness. The buzz was not bad, either.
J.R. Ward (The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14))
Yep! I was twenty-six years old and an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America, and that’s all that most people knew about me. But beneath the surface, I was full of secrets: I was an addict, for one. A pillhead! I was also an alcoholic-in-training who drank warm Veuve Clicquot after work, alone in my boss’s office with the door closed; a conniving uptown doctor shopper who haunted twenty-four-hour pharmacies while my coworkers were at home watching True Blood in bed with their boyfriends; a salami-and-provolone-puking bulimic who spent a hundred dollars a day on binge foods when things got bad (and they got bad often); a weepy, wobbly hallucination-prone insomniac who jumped six feet in the air à la LeBron James and gobbled Valium every time a floorboard squeaked in her apartment; a tweaky self-mutilator who sat in front of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, digging gory abscesses into her bikini line with Tweezerman Satin Edge Needle Nose Tweezers; a slutty and self-loathing downtown party girl fellatrix rushing to ruin; and—perhaps most of all—a lonely weirdo who felt like she was underwater all of the time. My brains were so scrambled you could’ve ordered them for brunch at Sarabeth’s; I let art-world guys choke me out during unprotected sex; I only had one friend, a Dash Snow–wannabe named Marco who tried to stick syringes in my neck and once slurped from my nostrils when I got a cocaine nosebleed;
Cat Marnell (How to Murder Your Life)
Outlawing drugs in order to solve drug problems is much like outlawing sex in order to win the war against AIDS. We recognize that people will continue to have sex for nonreproductive reasons despite the laws and mores. Therefore, we try to make sexual practices as safe as possible in order to minimize the spread of the AIDS viruses. In a similar way, we continually try to make our drinking water, foods, and even our pharmaceutical medicines safer. The ubiquity of chemical intoxicants in our lives is undeniable evidence of the continuing universal need for safer medicines with such applications. While use may not always be for an approved medical purpose, or prudent, or even legal, it is fulfilling the relentless drive we all have to change the way we feel, to alter our behavior and consciousness, and, yes, to intoxicate ourselves. We must recognize that intoxicants are medicines, treatments for the human condition. Then we must make them as safe and risk free and as healthy as possible. Dream with me for a moment. What would be wrong if we had perfectly safe intoxicants? I mean drugs that delivered the same effects as our most popular ones but never caused dependency, disease, dysfunction, or death. Imagine an alcohol-type substance that never caused addiction, liver disease, hangovers, impaired driving, or workplace problems. Would you care to inhale a perfumed mist that is as enjoyable as marijuana or tobacco but as harmless as clean air? How would you like a pain-killer as effective as morphine but safer than aspirin, a mood enhancer that dissolves on your tongue and is more appealing than cocaine and less harmful than caffeine, a tranquilizer less addicting than Valium and more relaxing than a martini, or a safe sleeping pill that allows you to choose to dream or not? Perhaps you would like to munch on a user friendly hallucinogen that is as brief and benign as a good movie? This is not science fiction. As described in the following pages, there are such intoxicants available right now that are far safer than the ones we currently use. If smokers can switch from tobacco cigarettes to nicotine gum, why can’t crack users chew a cocaine gum that has already been tested on animals and found to be relatively safe? Even safer substances may be just around the corner. But we must begin by recognizing that there is a legitimate place in our society for intoxication. Then we must join together in building new, perfectly safe intoxicants for a world that will be ready to discard the old ones like the junk they really are. This book is your guide to that future. It is a field guide to that silent spring of intoxicants and all the animals and peoples who have sipped its waters. We can no more stop the flow than we can prevent ourselves from drinking. But, by cleaning up the waters we can leave the morass that has been the endless war on drugs and step onto the shores of a healthy tomorrow. Use this book to find the way.
Ronald K. Siegel (Intoxication: The Universal Drive for Mind-Altering Substances)
In addiction, this means that because being addicted escalates wanting more than liking, the drug experience gets deeply carved into your memory. Anything you can associate with achieving a drug high, you will. As a result, when you try to quit, everything from a spoon (you could use it to prepare drugs) to a street (this is where the dealer lives!) to stress (when I feel like this, I need drugs) can come to drive craving. Desire fuels learning, whether it is normal learning or the pathological “overlearning” that occurs in addiction. You learn what interests you with ease because desire motivates. In contrast, it’s far more difficult to learn something you don’t want to understand or care to comprehend. Berridge and Robinson’s research also helps resolve another paradox: If dopamine signifies pleasure, then the brain should become less and less responsive to it as tolerance to a drug develops. But while tolerance clearly does occur, the opposite result is also seen in the brain. As I took cocaine, paranoia began to set in at lower and lower doses—not higher ones. The summer of 1988, it also took increasingly less drug to achieve the state of heart-pounding anxiety and mortal dread that I experienced so frequently. Neuroscientist Marc Lewis described his experience of this effect in his addiction memoir this way: “I kept pumping [cocaine] into my vein, this non-sterile solution, until my reeling consciousness, nausea, racing heart, and bloated capillaries told me that death was near. Later that night, I begged myself to stop.… But the urge would not relent.
Maia Szalavitz (Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction)
What, then, is addiction? In the words of a consensus statement by addiction experts in 2001, addiction is a “chronic neurobiological disease… characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.” The key features of substance addiction are the use of drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences, and relapse. I’ve heard some people shrug off their addictive tendencies by saying, for example, “I can’t be an alcoholic. I don’t drink that much…” or “I only drink at certain times.” The issue is not the quantity or even the frequency, but the impact. “An addict continues to use a drug when evidence strongly demonstrates the drug is doing significant harm…. If users show the pattern of preoccupation and compulsive use repeatedly over time with relapse, addiction can be identified.” Helpful as such definitions are, we have to take a broader view to understand addiction fully. There is a fundamental addiction process that can express itself in many ways, through many different habits. The use of substances like heroin, cocaine, nicotine and alcohol are only the most obvious examples, the most laden with the risk of physiological and medical consequences. Many behavioural, nonsubstance addictions can also be highly destructive to physical health, psychological balance, and personal and social relationships. Addiction is any repeated behaviour, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life and the lives of others. Addiction involves: 1. compulsive engagement with the behaviour, a preoccupation with it; 2. impaired control over the behaviour; 3. persistence or relapse, despite evidence of harm; and 4. dissatisfaction, irritability or intense craving when the object — be it a drug, activity or other goal — is not immediately available. Compulsion, impaired control, persistence, irritability, relapse and craving — these are the hallmarks of addiction — any addiction. Not all harmful compulsions are addictions, though: an obsessive-compulsive, for example, also has impaired control and persists in a ritualized and psychologically debilitating behaviour such as, say, repeated hand washing. The difference is that he has no craving for it and, unlike the addict, he gets no kick out of his compulsion. How does the addict know she has impaired control? Because she doesn’t stop the behaviour in spite of its ill effects. She makes promises to herself or others to quit, but despite pain, peril and promises, she keeps relapsing. There are exceptions, of course. Some addicts never recognize the harm their behaviours cause and never form resolutions to end them. They stay in denial and rationalization. Others openly accept the risk, resolving to live and die “my way.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
WHY ADDICTION IS NOT A DISEASE In its present-day form, the disease model of addiction asserts that addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. This disease is evidenced by changes in the brain, especially alterations in the striatum, brought about by the repeated uptake of dopamine in response to drugs and other substances. But it’s also shown by changes in the prefrontal cortex, where regions responsible for cognitive control become partially disconnected from the striatum and sometimes lose a portion of their synapses as the addiction progresses. These are big changes. They can’t be brushed aside. And the disease model is the only coherent model of addiction that actually pays attention to the brain changes reported by hundreds of labs in thousands of scientific articles. It certainly explains the neurobiology of addiction better than the “choice” model and other contenders. It may also have some real clinical utility. It makes sense of the helplessness addicts feel and encourages them to expiate their guilt and shame, by validating their belief that they are unable to get better by themselves. And it seems to account for the incredible persistence of addiction, its proneness to relapse. It even demonstrates why “choice” cannot be the whole answer, because choice is governed by motivation, which is governed by dopamine, and the dopamine system is presumably diseased. Then why should we reject the disease model? The main reason is this: Every experience that is repeated enough times because of its motivational appeal will change the wiring of the striatum (and related regions) while adjusting the flow and uptake of dopamine. Yet we wouldn’t want to call the excitement we feel when visiting Paris, meeting a lover, or cheering for our favourite team a disease. Each rewarding experience builds its own network of synapses in and around the striatum (and OFC), and those networks continue to draw dopamine from its reservoir in the midbrain. That’s true of Paris, romance, football, and heroin. As we anticipate and live through these experiences, each network of synapses is strengthened and refined, so the uptake of dopamine gets more selective as rewards are identified and habits established. Prefrontal control is not usually studied when it comes to travel arrangements and football, but we know from the laboratory and from real life that attractive goals frequently override self-restraint. We know that ego fatigue and now appeal, both natural processes, reduce coordination between prefrontal control systems and the motivational core of the brain (as I’ve called it). So even though addictive habits can be more deeply entrenched than many other habits, there is no clear dividing line between addiction and the repeated pursuit of other attractive goals, either in experience or in brain function. London just doesn’t do it for you anymore. It’s got to be Paris. Good food, sex, music . . . they no longer turn your crank. But cocaine sure does.
Marc Lewis (The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease)
All the substances that are the main drugs of abuse today originate in natural plant products and have been known to human beings for thousands of years. Opium, the basis of heroin, is an extract of the Asian poppy Papaver somniferum. Four thousand years ago, the Sumerians and Egyptians were already familiar with its usefulness in treating pain and diarrhea and also with its powers to affect a person’s psychological state. Cocaine is an extract of the leaves of Erythroxyolon coca, a small tree that thrives on the eastern slopes of the Andes in western South America. Amazon Indians chewed coca long before the Conquest, as an antidote to fatigue and to reduce the need to eat on long, arduous mountain journeys. Coca was also venerated in spiritual practices: Native people called it the Divine Plant of the Incas. In what was probably the first ideological “War on Drugs” in the New World, the Spanish invaders denounced coca’s effects as a “delusion from the devil.” The hemp plant, from which marijuana is derived, first grew on the Indian subcontinent and was christened Cannabis sativa by the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus in 1753. It was also known to ancient Persians, Arabs and Chinese, and its earliest recorded pharmaceutical use appears in a Chinese compendium of medicine written nearly three thousand years ago. Stimulants derived from plants were also used by the ancient Chinese, for example in the treatment of nasal and bronchial congestion. Alcohol, produced by fermentation that depends on microscopic fungi, is such an indelible part of human history and joy making that in many traditions it is honoured as a gift from the gods. Contrary to its present reputation, it has also been viewed as a giver of wisdom. The Greek historian Herodotus tells of a tribe in the Near East whose council of elders would never sustain a decision they made when sober unless they also confirmed it under the influence of strong wine. Or, if they came up with something while intoxicated, they would also have to agree with themselves after sobering up. None of these substances could affect us unless they worked on natural processes in the human brain and made use of the brain’s innate chemical apparatus. Drugs influence and alter how we act and feel because they resemble the brain’s own natural chemicals. This likeness allows them to occupy receptor sites on our cells and interact with the brain’s intrinsic messenger systems. But why is the human brain so receptive to drugs of abuse? Nature couldn’t have taken millions of years to develop the incredibly intricate system of brain circuits, neurotransmitters and receptors that become involved in addiction just so people could get “high” to escape their troubles or have a wild time on a Saturday night. These circuits and systems, writes a leading neuroscientist and addiction researcher, Professor Jaak Panksepp, must “serve some critical purpose other than promoting the vigorous intake of highly purified chemical compounds recently developed by humans.” Addiction may not be a natural state, but the brain regions it subverts are part of our central machinery of survival.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)