A friend of mine told me the following: They have been a recreational coke user for about 7 years. They used it probably 5 times a year to start out with. More recently (the last 2 years) this has increased to 2-3 times a month. The majority of use was with another friend, almost always linked to alcohol. They would have a few drinks on the weekend and then decide to call the dealer and share 1 or 2 grams (sound familiar?) They are skilled professionals in their early thirties who work hard and have led what most people would consider pretty ‘normal’ and privileged lives in a first world country. They never gave it much thought. Although the red flags should have come up when the use became more regular, often (unsuccessfully) trying to hide it from other friends and partners. Following a break-up, one of the friends recently moved back to their developing home country where coke is cheap. A break-up, moving countries and changing jobs has been pretty stressful, but if they are honest with themselves, it was probably already a problem previously. They have found that they are willing to put time and effort into taking personal safety and legal risks to buy a small quantity (1 gram) of poor quality coke from street dealers in dodgy areas. To take some by themself at home, some out with people on the weekend who do not know, or the rest at inappropriate occasions (family BBQ’s with kids around). They don’t think the quantity, or maybe even the frequency, is an issue. Playing on their mind is the secret and solo use and the time, effort and risks they are putting into finding poor quality coke being completely disproportionate to the reward. They know they should be worried, but their actions haven’t changed. If they are honest, they are not really worried. They are struggling to figure out if this is a manifestation of recent stress, whether it really should have been flagged as a problem earlier or whether to carry on like it is all normal?