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It’s In The Bag

By Elizabeth Major on January 22, 2015 in Other

Photo: Diego Maradona

Photo: Diego Maradona

In the wake of another festival, it seems as though Sydney is succumbing to a collective comedown as intoxication by cocaine proves to be a habit of even the younger middle class. Drugs are clearly becoming a function of disposable income in a wealthy first world society, “much like having a glass of wine” according to Richard Buttrose. The brand ‘Cocaine and Caviar’ shows the obvious correlation between the image of sophistication and the consumption of the fine white powder.

Between the synthetics, the high cut ratios and the $300 minimum spend, the party packs never seem to hit the spot quite like they are supposed to. People used to say cocaine was the one drug that you could get away with because it didn’t show on the user’s face. Well, when someone’s eyes are so wide the whites glow around the pupils and they keep trying to chew their own ear while repeating that same essential phrase of wisdom for over an hour, one can only guess that person is friends with Frankenstein.

The ‘rack’ is always just one call away; it defines a good night for some, a necessary lifeline for others and ascends the elevators of corporate buildings throughout our CBD every Friday afternoon in ounces. Businessmen shake hands with their bosses, discreetly passing on a tiny satchel of white powder, and groups of friends crowd into a toilet stall to share a single rolled note.

It is rare in this city to find a person who does not partake regularly, let alone someone who has never done it at all. Eventually the lines of social connection that keep people together on a night of debauchery start to thin out, and then it gets ugly. There comes a time when the whole night is about getting more. The desperation starts to show in clammy hands and cold sunrises, the smell of sweat in last night’s clothes and that furry feeling on the teeth that begs a toothbrush.

The irony is that the Eastern Beaches area is the home of the wholefoods, the organics, the eco’s, the fair trades and the biodynamics. The same clean-eating gym freaks will indulge in a bump or two of Columbia’s finest as though it was an essential vitamin that helped with social deficiencies. Even more ironic are those who complain about the price of organic bread, then fork out $300 when the time comes to feed their nose.

At one of the highest market prices in the world, Australians are paying for the sacrifices of others every time they get high. After the recent kidnapping and suspected murder of 43 students in Mexico by drug gangs, the world is reminded of the unfortunate truth behind this white idol. Perhaps $300 is a small price to pay for a good time, but it is an even smaller price to pay for the cost of human life. If we read between the lines, do we really want to see what’s in the bag?