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-   -   Why did the cocaine fad die off? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=880415)

HoneyBadgerDC 08-14-2019 11:17 AM

Why did the cocaine fad die off?
 
The cocaine fad seemed to last about 25 years or so and then kind of mostly die off. All the other drugs seem to be still out there. Did something cheaper replace it? I know Chrystal meth remains a huge problem. Were the same people who were attracted to cocaine just switch to meth? I still hear a little about cocaine but nothing like in the 70's and 80's or even 90's.

Sparky812 08-14-2019 11:31 AM

??? Do you not watch the news?

How could you miss what is going on in Mexico? El Chapo? Columbia? Drug cartels?

Did you miss the viral video of the US Coast Guard boarding a submarine with 17 000 lbs. of cocaine last month?


Cocaine is the second most frequently used illegal drug globally, after cannabis. Karila L, Zarmdini R, Petit A, Lafaye G, Lowenstein W, Reynaud M (January 2014). "[Cocaine addiction: current data for the clinician]". Presse Médicale. 43 (1): 9–17.


It hasn't died off at all.

Machine Elf 08-14-2019 11:32 AM

Cocaine in the United States

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Cocaine is the second most popular illegal recreational drug in the United States behind marijuana, and the U.S. is the world's largest consumer of cocaine.

Washington Post: American cocaine use is way up. Colombia’s coca boom might be why.

OK, so it looks like coke is still pretty popular, apparently more popular than meth or heroin or just about anything except marijuana.

OTOH, there's this plot, which shows a decline in US cocaine consumption through the late 80s and early 90s, down to about a third of its peak in the early 80s. Was Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign really that successful? :dubious:

Darren Garrison 08-14-2019 11:47 AM

Okay, how about the fad of men wearing pastel suits--that has faded, right?

Sam Stone 08-14-2019 11:58 AM

I would have thought the wide availability of Dexedrine, Ritalin and other stimulants might have cut into the coke market. On the other hand, maybe it's making coke more popular by normalizing stimulant use.

kopek 08-14-2019 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 21805856)
Okay, how about the fad of men wearing pastel suits--that has faded, right?


For the most part although there are some neighborhoods where --------------- :smack:

HeyHomie 08-14-2019 12:11 PM

Not being snarky or deliberately obtuse here, but is the distinction made between cocaine and crack? Because there's a difference between doing a line of blow and of smoking crack, but both require, you know, cocaine.

Ann Hedonia 08-14-2019 12:19 PM

There was a time in the 1980’s where open cocaine use was socially acceptable in certain circles.

I remember a large company Christmas party in, IIRC, 1982 or 1983. A huge blowout, attended by management, workers and all our clients. Part of our party prep consisted of setting up a room with several “stations” equipped with mirrors, razor blades and cut up straws.

And another party where every guest was handed a gram in a glass vial as a “party favor” when they entered. (And yes, a lot of the guests including myself left and came back in again).

There may be just as much now but it was more open then, at least in places like the entertainment industry.

Dallas Jones 08-14-2019 12:23 PM

Many of the sort of people who want that type of stimulant now use meth. Cocaine needs to be smuggled into the country, which is problematic. Meth can be made almost anywhere and is much cheaper and lasts longer. Meth also has the additional benefit of destroying your life and health much faster, and you do not need hundreds of dollars per week to do so, homeless people can afford it.

Basic econ 101. Supply, demand, cost, benefit.

kayaker 08-14-2019 12:37 PM

I haven't use cocaine in a good while. I like it so much, that I purposely decided to only abuse alcohol and cannabis. Many of my friends who are around my age (61) made similar decisions.

kayaker 08-14-2019 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia (Post 21805920)
There was a time in the 1980’s where open cocaine use was socially acceptable in certain circles.

Quote:

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
...

MichaelEmouse 08-14-2019 12:43 PM

As a habit, meth is much more affordable. For occasional partying, MDMA is better according to what I've heard about cocaine. Cocaine may also have lost some of its luster by being associated with cokeheads.

Corry El 08-14-2019 12:43 PM

There have been pretty big ups and downs in estimates of cocaine importation and use in the US (the presumed place where 'fad died off'), though it doesn't necessarily fit a particular narrative of 'the 80's' since it increased after that. But around halved in the 21st century to 2010 and limited rebound since.

https://drugabuse.com/cocaine/history-statistics/
https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/m...ng-up-or-down/

But keeping in mind there are no complete stats just estimates or objective stats which are proxies (eg. amount seized could +/- because enforcement is more/less effective not just because more/less is there to seize). And some providers of stats have an interest in making it look like the problem is better/worse or getting so.

Judging whether it's 'socially acceptable' is altogether slipperier. Personal experiences probably vary all over the map on that even in same kind of social and work settings at the same time. It's also the kind of thing highly subject IMO to people not consciously realizing they are repeating what they've seen in TV/movie fiction rather than basing it on real life. I used to work in a business where per TV/movies coke was endemic and I never saw anyone use it in work or work related setting. There were people who were reputed to but it wasn't the kind of thing people would be open about. Could have been different other places.

HoneyBadgerDC 08-14-2019 01:19 PM

Most of the people I know just walked away from it one day, the lifestyle that went with it no longer fit them. ( they were not young and beautiful anymore). It also seems that there may not be quite as much disposable income anymore but I could very well be wrong about that.

Larry Borgia 08-14-2019 02:15 PM

There was a time in the 70s and 80s when come was considered as harmless as weed by some people. Jann Wenner talks about this. They soon learned that was wrong, though.

MichaelEmouse 08-14-2019 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 21806132)
There was a time in the 70s and 80s when come was considered as harmless as weed by some people.

So, Larry, what's been on your mind lately?

Larry Borgia 08-14-2019 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse (Post 21806154)
So, Larry, what's been on your mind lately?

The auto correct on this phone, I swear. I know I typed cocaine.

Wesley Clark 08-14-2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 21806167)
The auto correct on this phone, I swear. I know I typed cocaine.

That's odd. Today on the train I saw a guy screaming at his phone 'no, I wanted cocaine, not come'. Not sure if that was you or not.

panache45 08-14-2019 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 21806132)
There was a time in the 70s and 80s when come was considered as harmless as weed by some people.

Well, it depends what protection you've used.

Staggerlee 08-14-2019 03:25 PM

I've noticed that part of its allure to its fans is the 'secret club' feeling it conjures - e.g. sneaking off to be cool and naughty in toilet cubicles. So cocaine use might be less obvious than some drugs. That said, cokeheads are less discreet than they think - just look for the brittle collection of self-admirers, enjoying the fleeting relief from their crippling self-esteem issues.

Omar Little 08-14-2019 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 21806132)
There was a time in the 70s and 80s when come was considered as harmless as weed by some people. Jann Wenner talks about this. They soon learned that was wrong, though.

Another aids awareness ad!

Sam Stone 08-14-2019 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 21806167)
The auto correct on this phone, I swear. I know I typed cocaine.

Same thing happened to me. I almost said, 'Ritalin and Dexedrine may have normalized the come market."

Esprise Me 08-14-2019 04:38 PM

It's tricky to judge the popularity of a drug over time by your own personal experiences and exposure. If I were going by what I've witnessed directly, I'd say binge drinking is on its way out. Fifteen years ago, it wasn't a Saturday night unless someone was puking. These days everyone has a beer or three and calls it a night without punching anyone on the way out. Of course, fifteen years ago I was twenty, which meant not only that I hung out with other twenty-year-olds, but I went to the kinds of parties twenty-year-olds got invited to and the kinds of bars that let twenty-year-olds in. I suspect the new crop of twenty-year-olds isn't any more responsible with alcohol than we were, but I actually don't know.

Ann Hedonia 08-14-2019 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC (Post 21806013)
Most of the people I know just walked away from it one day.

For many people, that day was Oct 19th 1987.

nearwildheaven 08-14-2019 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Esprise Me (Post 21806407)
It's tricky to judge the popularity of a drug over time by your own personal experiences and exposure. If I were going by what I've witnessed directly, I'd say binge drinking is on its way out. Fifteen years ago, it wasn't a Saturday night unless someone was puking. These days everyone has a beer or three and calls it a night without punching anyone on the way out. Of course, fifteen years ago I was twenty, which meant not only that I hung out with other twenty-year-olds, but I went to the kinds of parties twenty-year-olds got invited to and the kinds of bars that let twenty-year-olds in. I suspect the new crop of twenty-year-olds isn't any more responsible with alcohol than we were, but I actually don't know.

Fifteen years before that, I would have said the same thing.

guizot 08-14-2019 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Esprise Me (Post 21806407)
If I were going by what I've witnessed directly, I'd say binge drinking is on its way out.

As of 2016 it's not, according the data from SAMHSA. Obviously if you're not in the college environment anymore you're not going to witness as much. But according to SAMHSA data, even for older adults it's high.

Jackmannii 08-14-2019 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia (Post 21805920)
There was a time in the 1980’s where open cocaine use was socially acceptable in certain circles.

I remember a large company Christmas party in, IIRC, 1982 or 1983. A huge blowout, attended by management, workers and all our clients. Part of our party prep consisted of setting up a room with several “stations” equipped with mirrors, razor blades and cut up straws.

I'm going to guess you weren't working at Procter & Gamble.

Ukulele Ike 08-14-2019 07:35 PM

Cocaine has gone in and out of fashion over the last century.

It was big after World War One and through the 1920s, and was later supplanted in the 40s and 50s by Benzedrine and other chemical stimulants. Came zooming back in in the mid-70s and throughout the 80s, when I enjoyed it in copious amounts, along with most well-off white NYers.

A lady dealer friend would drop over and we’d toot up, roll the ends of our cigarettes in the leavings and smoke it, drink Bourbon whiskey and play cribbage. We were such deviants!

Quit cold turkey in 1990, when my first child was born. The contemporary attraction seemed to decline after that, or maybe the media focused on crack use rather than powdered coke.

I know nothing of meth. Always considered it to be a cracker drug for people whose teeth fall out and think spiders are crawling all over them.

I Love Me, Vol. I 08-14-2019 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia (Post 21806421)
For many people, that day was Oct 19th 1987.

For others it came before that on June 19, 1986.

Railer13 08-14-2019 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia (Post 21805920)

And another party where every guest was handed a gram in a glass vial as a “party favor” when they entered. (And yes, a lot of the guests including myself left and came back in again).

Damn. I wish I would have run around with you back in those days.

My experience mirrors that of the OP. Coke was huge from about the mid-70s to the early 90s. Then it died rather quickly, at least for me and my circle of dopeheads. We all finally realized that blowing a hundred bucks every other weekend was not really a smart thing to do. And, of course, there were kids to think about.

And, now, if my children are to be believed, even infrequent usage of coke isn't really popular at all. I was surprised to read that coke is still the second most frequently used illegal drug.

HMS Irruncible 08-14-2019 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Railer13 (Post 21806719)
Damn. I wish I would have run around with you back in those days.

Username checks out.

sitchensis 08-14-2019 09:26 PM

I have known more middle aged tradespeople who regularly use coke then college aged kids. Not to say it wasn't around but there was a lot more access to party drugs other than coke.

zoid 08-14-2019 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 21805940)
I haven't use cocaine in a good while. I like it so much, that I purposely decided to only abuse alcohol and cannabis. Many of my friends who are around my age (61) made similar decisions.

Yeah, licking packages for the last few crumbs at 5AM on a Sunday morning gets old real fast.

Machine Elf 08-15-2019 06:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Railer13 (Post 21806719)
I was surprised to read that coke is still the second most frequently used illegal drug.

It may be that we don't hear much about it because its popularity, although widespread, just isn't causing as much problems as other drugs.

Cocaine kills 10,000-15,000 people a year.

OTOH, opioids are killing about 50,000 people a year. Opioids are also more newsworthy than cocaine because a large part of this epidemic has been caused by the actions and policies of the medical establishment.

Meth makes the news because meth labs are toxic, explosion-prone sites, and because users sometimes experience bouts of paranoid delusion that make them a problem for innocent bystanders.

Dahnlor 08-15-2019 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I (Post 21806694)
For others it came before that on June 19, 1986.

I was about to post the same thing about Len Bias, I know that was one of the most significant factors that made me refusing to partake in the drug. There were also several major movies that de-glamorized cocaine use, Less Than Zero and Bright Lights, Big City come to mind. I think all of this was more significant than Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No!" campaign in stigmatizing cocaine use.

KneadToKnow 08-15-2019 02:59 PM

I remember Richard Pryor talking about how he did so much cocaine that he embarrassed cocaine delaers. He finally talked one into selling him just enough for the weekend.

"Okay, how much do you need?"
"A kilo."

HeyHomie 08-15-2019 03:36 PM

"Cocaine is God's way of telling you you make too much money." - Robin Williams

Mallard 08-15-2019 04:04 PM

The OP isn’t exactly wrong as such, cocaine use isn’t as newsworthy as it one was just like we seldom hear about aids anymore.

xizor 08-15-2019 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HeyHomie (Post 21808134)
"Cocaine is God's way of telling you you make too much money." - Robin Williams

"I don't do cocaine, I just like the way it smells" - Rodney Dangerfield


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