I have the same relationship with Mary Jane. A small sampling and my brain works just right.
Between big pharma and self-medication for mental health? I'll go with big pharma.
"Cocaine makes me feel like a new man. The only problem is, the first thing the new man wants is more cocaine."

- W. C. Fields
You've successfully diagnosed every kitchen, bar and wait staff ever. Give them all prescriptions, and maybe a house bump at the beginning of shift, and all will run much smoother.
Further reading: The Mood Cure has a section (in tne first third of the book) addressing this phemonenon.
When you get your doctorate I will begin to give you some credence but until then your theories are self serving pieces of shit.
Interesting but not all that surprising. Drugs (pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical) are drugs and poisons are poisons not because they are so very foreign to the body, but rather because they are often slight tweaks or mimics of natural endogenous (produced by the body) substances—they slide right into existing biochemical pathways as reactants or as stimulators/inhibitors/distractors of the enzymes that are the workhorses of those pathways.

Sometimes they monkey-wrench the pathways by inhibiting reactions and sometimes they floor the gas pedal; sometimes their effects taper off over time and sometimes they irreversibly affect their targets.

I wonder how Molly would do if she could chew coca leaves, as the South Americans have done for centuries to fight hunger and low energy—it's a form of ingestion that is demonstrably non-addictive.
Given my past experiences with antidepressants - lots of side-effects, little benefit - I'd try chewing coca leaves in a heartbeat. I dunno about refined cocaine, though. That's a little too close to the fire for me.
I wonder if she tried things like coffee and chocolate before going all the way to blow.

Kind of like me just now, when half way through my bike ride up and down the Soos Creek trail, I stopped into the Covington Starbucks to have a tall cap.
You've never done cocaine if you're comparing it to coffee, chocolate, or a tall cappuccino.

No. I never have and I never will.

And I've only "done" weed a few times and I found it to be a very dangerous and potentially addictive drug. Way more unsafe than its acolytes say.

Weed is addictive? I think chocolate is more addictive than weed.
That's a hell of a slippery slope.
@8, I took an antidepressant for several years during an extremely trying period of my life and found it helpful. I'm not inclined to suicidal ideation, but I was otherwise zombified by work circumstances I could not control or mitigate until I made the decision to leave—my usual outlet was to get in my car and drive up and down the beautiful California coast for most or all of a weekend, going over and over things in my mind and stopping to eat or get a motel as necessary.

Some people, of course, may need to use antidepressants or other psychotropic drugs for a lifetime no matter their circumstances in order to be functional and/or reduce the risk of suicide, but I think the value of antidepressants for many is, as I believe is mentioned in "Listening to Prozac" (not the drug I took), to use for a limited time to help one regain the sense of what "normal" feels like, and that's what it did for me.

Once the main stressors were removed, I had three concerns about continued use: 1) the drug was suppressing healthy sensations of short-term anxiety and thus interfering with prioritization of life goals and motivations ("hakuna matata" state); 2) long-term use apparently gradually reduces the number of available serotonin receptors, which may be more or less permanent; and 3) I was tired of the mild negative sexual side-effects (delayed and damped orgasm).

I tapered off with my remaining prescription (not with medical advice, which I should have done) and soon discovered something that people starting antidepressants are almost never told: even gradual withdrawal from many SSRIs produces an unpleasant symptom called the "zaps," which I liken to a momentary sensation of touching a 9-volt battery directly to your brain. Initially it happened several times per hour, very gradually decreasing as tapering off continued. Even today, 7-8 years after my last antidepressant pill, I still get a "zap" out of the blue a couple of times a year. As drug side effects go, it's harmless and relatively tolerable and shouldn't ever stop someone from taking antidepressants when needed, nor from tapering off with proper supervision; I just wish I'd know about it in advance.
@11 Never failing w/ the unselfconscious humor. "I freely admit my lack of understanding behind my firmly held convictions." LMAO
So people use drugs to feel better? Who knew?
Uhhh, SROTU, it ain't the weed and coca plant at fault. Millions of people have used these plants over thousands of years with no problems... This is what is called "normal". You and others have problems with these plants. This is what is called "abnormal"... Please don't use these plants. For you, they obviously cause a problem... Please don't demonize either the plants or the people who use them normally and safely..
@2....good luck with that... way more people die each year from big pharma psych meds than coke and heroin combined and BTW, FYI, cannabis never has killed anyone...
Same thing happened to me when I first tried coke (and I'm diagnosed ADD too), but I nipped that potential assassin in the bud. Coke isn't as bad as meth, but it will fuck you up.

If there weren't any side effects, and if coke was clean -- fucking tainted coke-- I'd be tootin' all day.
Sounds plausible, but consider the source: a cokehead.

Should you believe anything a cokehead tells you? Especially about coke? Sure, sure. Believe them. Lend them your money while you're at it. Let them borrow your car. What could go wrong?
Can't speak for coke (don't trust myself around uppers beyond coffee), but smoking weed on a semi-regularly basis has brought no downside and a fair amount of upside. Grades improved slightly (correlation and causation problem there, but they didn't go down), social anxiety went way down, and connected I'm sure to all of these, drinking less.

And 60 bucks of weed will last a lot longer than an hour...
Folks self-medicating with drugs both licit and illicit is acknowledged among (some) people who work in health fields and substance use treatment. For example, self-medicating depression, past trauma, or anxiety disorders with opiates is not at all uncommon. If I can track it down, I'll post a link to a nursing dissertation on some of the links between heroin use and depression.

The best thing to do, of course, is to get someone an appropriate diagnosis so they can take licit (and uncut) drugs instead of going to the black market and risking arrest or worse.
I tried coke a number of times (thanks to the generosity of certain friends) but it never seemed to do anything. The people around me were all happily bouncing off the walls, but maybe I'm just not wired for cocaine, 'cause I never got a buzz. Apparently it was always "high quality" stuff - but nope, nothing. Nada. It didn't matter how many lines I snorted, either... after the fifth or sixth, I would politely decline any more (as I would find myself wondering just where all this magical white powder was disappearing to, inside of my body).

However, when I finally started drinking coffee about four years ago (I'm in my mid-forties) it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: everything my cokey friends had described, all the amazing stimulation and energy - I was getting it from the coffee I was drinking. And not only was it legal, it was comparatively quite cheap. The only drawback being that I'm now addicted to coffee... but hey - at least I won't have to hock everything I own for my morning cuppa joe.
I'm really curious about this leaf chewing @7 mentions. Sounds plausible. Much more so than snorting levamisole.
@18, is there any reason I should believe that "way more people die each year from big pharma psych meds than coke and heroin combined" is a fact based on actual evidence, and not just something you pulled out of your ass? Because that sounds like unsubstantiated alt-med hippie rhetoric to me, or worse, Scientology propaganda.
As the great Buddy Cole would say "Stick to pot, occasionally ecstasy, coke (but ONLY if it's offered), add alcohol, and stir!"

Again, as he states, "Moderation, within reason".

Because what the difference between "addicts" and "recreational users" is is ultimately self control and emotional stability.
@26 -- There needs to be more quoting of Buddy Cole on Slog.

@25 -- Yeah, the thing about big pharma drugs killing more people than heroin and cocaine combined just sounds like made-up bullshit to me too. I wouldn't take the person who claimed that very seriously.

It seems either deluded or dishonest to describe your state of being as "level-feeling" while simultaneously admitting that all you need or want or feel is important in the world is cocaine.

I wonder if this woman with ADD wasn't getting the level feeling from coke cut with amphetamines, which is sometimes the case with street drugs. That she found help from Adderal suggests that perhaps it was.

Either way, I totally understand her situation. I'm very clear-headed and productive on coke. Too bad its expensive, irregular and tainted. None of that for me, thanks.
22 is right. My colleagues who work in methadone clinics say a lot of their clients on methadone maintenance report that they never felt their brains worked right until they started using narcotics. Now they have long since become tolerant of the euphoric effects but still report improved functioning.

And the self-medicating of schizophrenics with good old alcohol is a very old story, the very epitome of the dual diagnosis.
I haven't read all the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat, but Ritalin and Cocaine are very similar drugs. They have the same structure and work on the same system, but Ritalin (taken at prescribed doses) doesn't give you the crash you would get with Coke. If I remember correctly it binds the dopamine transporters for longer than coke does so you get a sustained effect, rather than the high/crash of coke.……
@4 No, please. As the one person who's been in the waiting world for over a decade, but never been dependent on anything, I disagree and beg you not to institute that plan.
Weed makes me depressed and seriously paranoid and self conscious. I fucking hate it.
Coca leaves, I'd die to try, though. MDMA, too.
I've chewed plenty of coca leaves and drunk lots of coca leaf tea. It's very mild, wonderful stuff, and does wonders for altitude sickness, although I much prefer coffee.
Regarding truth about prescription drugs killing more people than herion and cocaine combined, see…, which says "According to the Center for Disease Control, prescription drugs, including opioids and antidepressants, are responsible for more overdose deaths than “street drugs” such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines."
Here's another source for data on death rates from drug ODs:…, which says ""Overdoses involving prescription painkillers are at epidemic levels and now kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement in November."
Oh great, now every single coked up douchebag is going to believe that they are that .0000001% who are self medicating.
I think a lot of people with addictions really truly are self-medicating and I do believe that it is a disease, so I'm not unsympathetic to those who say they are treating a psyc problem. However, it's a disease that is strongly influenced by lifestyle choices. While I recognize that someone with a serious psyc issue isn't going to make the best choices, where do you draw the line for personal responsibility? I'm sure there are a lot of addicts who would like to claim that getting high is for medicinal purposes.

And for anyone who hasn't been there: It sucks to have an addict in your life, b/c they are some seriously destructive, messed-up people who often take advantage of whatever you do to try to help them. I should've ended a friendship over $100. missing from my purse that I'm pretty sure went to feed a heavy cocaine habit. I was only 19 though, and a bit naive, so I didn't recognize what the weight loss, missing money or all the other signs meant. I gave this girl the benefit of the doubt for years, until I later found out about some other shocking and seriously disturbing problems. By the time I finally figured out how bad things were, she'd already done a lot of damage to my life.

@37 and others, actually, a large number people who are addicted to illicit substances may be self-medicating for the same kinds of psychiatric conditions that doctors try to control with pharmaceuticals. Watch this video if you have some time.

As someone who's been diagnosed with ADHD, this doesn't surprise me one little bit. I would probably be doing coke every day too, if I didn't know better. In small doses, it's at least as good for focusing a hyperactive brain as the legal stimulants (e.g. Ritalin) that are usually prescribed for ADHD. (Like many people with ADHD, my self-medication drug of choice is caffeine merely because it's cheap, safe, and legal.)

I'm actually intrigued by the idea of chewing coca leaves for ADHD, as @7 mentions. I've tried coca leaf tea before, and the effect is a mild and pleasant buzz, kind of like drinking a cup of coffee but without the jitters. Too bad it's so hard to get raw coca leaves in North America.

If you are the wrong person encountering the wrong thing, almost anything could be addictive. For myself, I am a recovered potaholic (it was, I believe, fueled by my self medicating my ADD/ADHD). What is most frustrating about "proving" an addict-able personality is that if you can be an addict to one thing, then you're wired to be addicted to something else (Free of charge! Why stop with one?!). The good thing about the awareness, if you are careful you catch the beginning stages of trouble and go into avoidance. The absolute last thing I would ever want to do when I'm emotionally crashed would be to drink alcohol, therefor I only drink at happy times and when I'm not the DD. Incidentally, my kids don't use drugs or alcohol at the age when I was already well into things; maybe an example of sobriety (NOT abstinence) helped?

As for coke, the first time I tried it I was terrified with how I just didn't care about much of anything. It wasn't the last time I used it, but I was always wary of more than a little at a time. I can clearly recall how small amounts would help me stay on track (ie help against my ADD) and stay awake so I could smoke more pot, but I didn't use it often enough to notice any assistance with my studies.

As it turned out, when I was diagnosed with ADD, the best drug for me wasn't Ritalin (which had serious emotion control side effects), but dextroamphetamine HCL. I also, as it turns out, attended a small conference about brain physiology that had a seminar on memory enhancement drugs, of which dextroamphetamine is the gold standard. The good part was that levoamphetamine would give the memory enhancement without the speed and sleep problems.

Brain chemistry is complex, and highly individualistic, so self medication for ADD using coke shouldn't be that surprising.

Well this is about as un-scientific as it gets.
Self-medicated = Self-deluded.
To all those proving my point in #37, your justification of your habit as medication is about as good as self medicating with gasoline. or bleach. or 100% organic tofu. Since you aren't a doctor or psychiatrist you can't even tell what's really your alleged underlying condition to begin with. Simply reading a bullet point about a condition and "feeling good" from doing drugs is not the same as a diagnosis and treatment. Besides which, the self prescribed "treatment" is doing a metric shit tonne of damage to yourself, not to mention the society at large.
I've seen what therapy can do for people and the breakthroughs that people have are rarely the ones they saw coming. If everyone could see their own issues clearly they'd be able to overcome them, no? It takes a good therapist and time to dig down and figure these things out. Just getting coked out might make you feel good for a few hours, but it's going to fuck you up worse than you were soon enough. Do the blow if you're going to do it, but don't try to tell me that it's "medicine" for your "condition". It's not. It's just you doing blow.
@43, I don't think you understand what is meant by the term "self-medication."

Perhaps you are not referring to my comment directly, and perhaps you are, but nowhere did I say that "self-medication" was some kind of justification for doing coke. I said I probably would if I didn't know better, meaning, the attraction to the drugs is reinforced by having a condition like ADHD. When doctors say someone is self-medicating for a psychiatric disorder, that is what they mean. It's not that the person is deliberately setting out to treat their own disorder - most people who self-medicate aren't aware that that's what they're doing - it's just that the person likes the drugs and keeps taking them because they relieve symptoms. In fact, an addict's drug(s) of choice can often be a clue to the underlying disorder that might be contributing to their addiction. That doesn't mean that's a good thing. Cocaine - the refined stuff - is nasty, addictive, and super bad for you. Everyone should stay away from it.

Now, I have ADHD (according to my doctor), so it's probably not very surprising that I consume a lot of caffeine - two or three cups of coffee every day. In the past when I've taken meds for ADHD, I stopped drinking coffee on my doctor's advice, but I started again when I stopped the medication. I don't drink coffee because I'm playing doctor to myself exactly, I drink coffee because I like to, and because, frankly, it helps me get work done. But I also happen to know enough to know that it's an example of "self-medication." I haven't found a pharmaceutical that works for me yet, so it's unlikely that I'm going to quit coffee anytime soon, despite the jitters and the bad breath and the crash when it wears off.

Coca leaves in raw form are harmless enough - no more dangerous than drinking coffee - that I would feel comfortable experimenting with replacing my daily coffee with daily coca leaves, if they were readily available. I also think it's interesting to speculate that coca leaves might have some therapeutic uses, if they weren't illegal.
When I tried cocaine I felt normal. This was all explained a few years later when I was diagnosed with narcolepsy. I'm not at all surprised by this woman's story. I was only an occasional user and am now medicated with adderall.

Over half a decade ago I tried cocaine a few times. I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Snorting lines did NOT make me feel high. I would describe it as feeling as if I'd had a strong coffee, but WITHOUT the jitteriness that large amounts of caffeine give. This cocaine was offered to me freely, everyone around me was having a blast...but me? I just felt like a normal person.

Usually I feel very unmotivated and need copious amounts of caffeine to do anything.

Everyone in my immediate family has been diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD - except for me. I've never had the money to be diagnosed before, but all the symptoms are there.

Recently I tried a tiny bit of Adderall in order to see if it did anything. The results were nearly immediate and ridiculously awesome.

For someone who has ADD (diagnosed or undiagnosed), having a sufficient amount of amphetamine in their systems transforms them into a "normal person".

I have made an appointment to see a psychiatrist and I will be discussing these concerns in the hopes that I will be able to finally live a normal life and fulfill the potential that I possess.

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