Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 76 scoop SPRING 2010
high excitement on the floor and used cocaine to
continue the buzz into the evening.
Professor Simon Lenton is deputy director
at Curtin University’s National Drug Research
Institute and a clinical psychologist in private
practice. He says stimulants like cocaine will make
you more alert. “It will make you feel bullet-proof,
like you can do anything and conquer anything,
on top of the world.
“I can see why, if you’re in a high-pressure job
and you need to be on your toes that stimulants
might seem an attractive proposition,” he says.
“Because you feel alert and functioning at a
faster rate, you will believe that you are thinking
quicker but you may not necessarily be thinking
accurately,” he explains. “You can be deluded
into thinking that things are better than they
are and rash decisions can get made.” Indeed,
some commentators blamed cocaine for some
of the decision-making leading to the global
“People with a high disposable income are
generally the ones doing it, from all types of
professions including lawyers and accountants,”
says one regular Perth cocaine user, Andrew, who
works in the fashion industry.
Kathy, who also works in fashion, says: “I know
people who have done it to g et through their day
or night. It’s a little ‘pick-me-up’. They would only
have one line to make them feel better or not tired
anymore. But I personally don’t know anyone who
does it to perform well at work.”
Andrew agrees that most people who use it
do so after hours. “People take it because it feels
good, you have a sense of euphoria without the
depression of pills and crystal meth. I wouldn’t
say people use it for work because distractions
and loss of concentration do occur. It’s much
more of a social thing,” he says.
Most Perth cocaine users are to be found, as
Fremantle footballer Michael Johnson was, in the
club and party scene. (Johnson was arrested for
cocaine possession outside a city nightclub in May).
“You don’t have to be anyone special to be
taking it. It’s much more common than people
think. People of all ag es are taking it and it’s
just not a big deal anymore,” says one young
professional. “I know that if my mates are having
a night out the majority of them will be on it at
some stage of the night.”
But Andrew is not sure. “There is not a big
scene in Perth, it is blown out off proportion by
the media,” he says.
Prof Lenton says although there is anecdotal
evidence of an increase in cocaine use here, claims
that WA was in the midst of a cocaine storm could
not be justified by available research. Sur veys and
hospital statistics sug gest total numbers of people
using it are relatively small but there is a problem
in that people who use the drug don’t usually
front up to interview studies of drug users so they
probably slip “under the radar”. Those cocaine
users who do participate in research are mostly
“poly drug” users who use cocaine occasionally.
But another source says cocaine use does
“occur in all industries where income and pressure
is high”. And in the boom environment of WA,
there are plenty of those.
As Detective Superintendent Charlie Car ver
says: “There’s a broader market. There are a lot
of cashed-up people in this state.
“A lot of blue-collars and party-g oers are doing
it. And a lot of women are taking illicit drugs,
more and more. Well, that’s equality for us.”
Another attraction of cocaine is that it leaves
your system quickly.
“This is just a result of widespread drug
testing in the resources industry,” commented
‘James of Perth’ in response to a recent news
report about cocaine on Perthnow.com. “Most
of the blokes I know in mining and resources
used to have a drink and a joint on their time off,
up until five or so years ag o.
"Many turned to meth, because it is out of your
system in two days, but it screws up your head. In
the past two years, coke seems to be the drug the
guys are gravitating to, seems to have less negative
effects than amphetamines. And $250 worth for
a long weekend supply is pretty good value for
someone who earns three grand a week.”
Detective Inspector Morton says that some
recent bad batches of methamphetamine also
seemed to have put people off using ice and
there was a definite increase in the amount of
coke used at parties.
‘Mike’ who works in the nightclub industry is a
cocaine user and small-time dealer. He says coke
has become a lot more popular in the past few
years but “I haven’t noticed a flood.”
Kathy agrees: “It’s not in excessive amounts,
I feel only some people would have it as it is not as
accessible as some other drugs such as pills
Links Archive Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page