V V V U V
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in any other industrialized nation in
"Add to that the fact that the use of
one of the most dependence-producing
substances known to
man-cocaine-is once again in-
creasing and you have grounds for
real concern," Dr. Lloyd Johnston,
one of three researchers who conduc-
ted the Institute for Social Research
study published last fall.
Johnston adds that it is important for
people to recognize the way in which a
severe cocaine dependency develops,
or, he warns, the already serious
epidemic will expand even further.
"Certainly the best way to avoid
becoming one of the casualties is
never to start using this drug in the
first place," Johnston says.
Of those in the 24-and-under age
bracket who have tried drugs, 10 to 15
percent are at risk of becoming sub-
stance abusers, according to
professionals at the McAuley Center,
whose clientele includes University
"You take 30,000 undergraduate
students, multiply that times ten per-
cent, and you're talking a pretty hefty
number," McAuley Center's Carolan
University health officials have no
hard statistics on campus drug -use,
according to Caesar Briefer, director
of University Health Service.
"It's hard to know," Briefer says,
adding that "people come forth (for
help) only under certain circumstan-
The Health Service is unequipped to
treat substance abusers, so students
with substance abuse problems
seeking help through University
counseling or Health Service are
usually referred to other treatment
clinics in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti,
Chelsea, or Brighton.
However, professionals at the
University medical center are curren-
tly discussing plans to establish a sub-
stance abuse center "where treat-
ment and research would be the
focus," says Len Scott, a counselor at
the University's Student Counseling
Although there is a need for such a
center, support from University
medical professionals had been
lagging, according to Scott. "It's very
expensive to have treatment
programs," he explains. "These
things have to pay for themselves."
"The leadership in the medical
school is seeing that the center is im-
portant), and are talking about it
now," Scott says. "There just isn't
anybody from inside who is interested
and qualified to establish such a cen-
While there are campus chapters of
Alcholics Anonymous and Al-Anon
groups, no groups exist for abusers of
"I do think we need more infor-
mation available to the student body
in accessible form, about cocaine in
particular," Scott says.
Scott, who teaches a mini-course on
alcohol, pot, and cocaine through the
Alice Lloyd Pilot Program, notes that
while cocaine use has risen only in
recent years, "there's not enough
being done educationally about it...
like we do about alcohol."
Not recognizing the problem is
"probably an unconscious wish that
(drug abuse) isn't happening," Scott
says. "I think that there's resistance
about dealing with drug abuse on
campus-and not just on this cam-
An ad hoc committee consisting of
housing, health, counseling personnel
and students is currently discussing
ways of educating students at the Un-
,iversity about drug abuse, stressing
While programs have been im-
plemented in dormitories in the past,
this committee has proposed that off-
campus student housing such as far-
fraternities, sororities, and co-ops be
offered workshops put on mainly by
Eduction may be a step in preven-
ting drug abuse, but for those who are
already hooked, much more needs to
"There are no self-help groups on
campus on drugs," says Jane
Hassinger, a senior counselor at the
Student Counseling Office. "There
should be, (because) there are
students on drugs."
S EEKING PROFESSIONAL help
is the only viable alternative for
straightforwardly about the after-
math of his one-time gram-a-day ad-
"It's nothing to be proud of," he
says. "Lack of discipline and drug use
go hand in hand."
Dave recalls the time he became so
fond of doing drugs that he forgot to go
to his classes.
"I'd be laying in the Diag after lun-
ch... feeling hung-over... depression
'A woman who tried cocaine and became
addicted to it knew she was hooked in 30
seconds. With cocaine it's just a matter of
time before it catches up with you.'
Public affairs director,
drug users who have lost control of
their lives. Yet, recognizing and ad-
mitting drug addiction has never been
Dave and other members of his
therapy group at a local drug
rehabilitation clinic have seriously
considered starting a cocaine self-
help group, modeled on the Alcoholic
Anonymous system, in order to
provide a support system for addicts
who want to discuss their probelms.
"I have a disease, and I'm trying to
treat it," says Dave, referring to the
cocaine addiction that caused him to
flunk out of the University.
"I'm 27 years old, and I have no
money, no career, no degree, and no
friends," sayd Dave speaking
By Jill Osero wsky
M IKE HAD EXPERIMENTED
with alcohol in high school, but
he was "totally against" using any
other drugs when he moved into South
Quad four years ago.
"Then I saw people who were bright
using them, and they were able to
have good experiences," he says.
Now it is not unusual to find
Mike-still a clean-cut preppie from a
small Michigan town-dropping acid,
tripping on LSD, smoking pot, or-his
Mike, an LSA senior who once
called himself a "pre-yuppie,"
prefers cocaine over any other drugs
because of what he refers to as its
"Cocaine is a social drug," Mike
says. "It makes you more wiping to
be with people and desire to be with
Mike says that because he snorts
the $100-an-ounce substance only
when he is with friends, he doesn't have
D AVE CAME TO the University
from Texas 10 years ago hoping
to find the campus teeming with '60s
radicals, but was disillusioned with
the conservatism he found. He says he
turned to cocaine in an attempt to deal
with the pressures of coming to a
prestigious school where everyone
was at least as smart as he was.
"Some people develop bizarre
sexual preferences, try drugs,
become radical punks, join frater-
nities," Dave says. "I turned to par-
tying a lot. It just happened to be what
I was comfortable with."
"Back then there was no con-
sideration that coke was an addictive
thing," says Dave, who is now un-
dergoing treatment for his addiction.
He no longer calls his cocaine use " a
Alcohol, marijuana, and
cocaine-in that order-are students'
drugs of choice on campuses nation-
wide, according to a study published
in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Cocaine use has grown more
rapidly than the other two in recent
years, and health officials are con-
cerned about the dangerous effects of
"the most addictive substance known
to humans," according to Neil
Cocaine Hotline in New Jersey. "With
cocaine, it's just a matter of time
before it catches up with you."
Because the drug chemically affec-
ts the brain in a way different from
other substances, if taken long
enough, addiction is inevitable, she
Treatment for addiction means
total abstinence. But recently a new
drug, bromocriptine, which
eliminates the craving for cocaine,
was approved by the Food and Drug
Pioneered by doctors Mark Gold
and Charles Dackis of Fair Oaks
'Some people develop bizarre sexual
preferences, try drugs, become radical
punks, join fraternities. I turned to par-
tying a lot. . . back then there was no
consideration that coke was an addictive
A new ready-to-smoke cocaine,
nicknamed "crack", also has healthI
officials worried. Crack, a freebase,
has had the impurities removed from
it and is more potent than other forms
"It's highly addictive, very inex-
pensive, and very dangerous," Ben-
Richard Pryor, the famous,
comedian, torched his chest and face
freebasing cocaine in the late '70s. In-
vestigators of the late actor Ricky
Nelson's fatal plane crash suspect
freebasing on board may have been
a cause of the tragedy.
Mike says he learned the basics of
freebasing when he worked in a
chemistry lab one summer.
"Cocaine used in freebasing is first
put through an ether extraction.
Cocaine is a polar molecule and ether
is a nonpolar solvent, so they will
separate after being mixed.
"Also put into the ether-cocaine
solution is ammonia to rid the cocaine
of impurities. The impurities would be
the additives put into the cocaine to
cut it before sale," Mike explains.
Mike says he avoided buying
cocaine with harmful dilutants by get-
ting it from roommates.
Last year, his friends made enough
profit from their drug business to
vacation to Europe.
But there is also a high price to pay
when selling an illegal substance.
"As far as being a dealer, there's a
tremendous risk involved because
you're dealing with rogues and there
are no conventional forms of insuran-
ce," says Mike of his friends' line of
Dave has stronger words for .drug
dealers: "People did it were mother-
fuckers," Dave says. "It's a cutthroat
TWENTY-TWO million Americans
have tried cocaine at least once.
Of those numbers, young adults bet-
ween 18 and 25 show the highest per-
centage of lifetime coke use. About 2.2
million in this age bracket are current
users-meaning they had tried it one
or more times prior to the 1982 survey
conducted by the National Institute on
In another survey, University of
Michigan researchers found that
cocaine use is on the rise among high
"...(The) rates of illicit drug use
which exist among American young
people today are still troublesomely
high and certainly remain higher than
Trom the cocaine. The bell would ring
from Burton Tower, and I'd go home
to watch Bill Kennedy (on T.V.)."
ALTHOUGH HE DIDN'T always
have money to buy drugs, Dave
had a Columbian friend in Ann Arbor
who supplied him with cocaine. The
dealer gave him the cocaine to sell,
but Dave ended up snorting more than
The easy availability of the drug
caused Dave to grow careless. He
recalls sloppily dishing cocaine out of
a bag for his customers instead of
When his friends came to collect
money, and Dave couldn't pay, Dave
suddenly realized the dangerous ex-
tent of his habit.
"I owe this guy thousands of
dollars," Dave says, adding that he
hopes he never sees him again.
Finally realizing he had addiction
that left him physically haggard and
in debt, Dave thumbed through the
Yellow Pages last June to get
In his case,,counseling proved less
expensive than his habit. Every time
Dave walked into a restroom he would
snort a line. But for $150 a week, Dave
is now receiving therapy and hasn't
taken cocaine or other drugs in eight
months. Still, he doesn't see himself
as being "cured."
Like alcoholism, drug dependency
Carolan, director of Catherine
McAuley Health Center in Ypsilanti.
"In terms of marijuana, cocaine is
100 times more potent and 100 times
more dangerous," Carolyn says, ad-
ding that "neither is social or har-
Many cocaine users occasionally
think of themselves as "social" users,
but health officials say it is possible to
become addicted to the stimulant af-
ter a single snort.
"A woman who tried cocaine and
became addicted to it knew she was
hooked in 30 seconds," says Lisa Ben-
son, public affairs director of the
Hospital in New Jersey, the drug is
the first that has stopped cocaine ad-
diction, Benson says.
Cocaine can be ingested in different
ways, the two most popular being
snorting and freebasing. Snorting the
white powder has always been a
popular high, but freebase, a
chemically purer substance made
through distilling the coke, is con-
sidered a richer buzz and is more ad-
dictive than injected cocaine.
Freebasing is a dangerous process
which requires using a propane torch
to "nuke" the impurities from the
6 Weekend-February 7, 1996
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