Living: Some Close Encounters

In the latest remake of the movie A Star Is Born, a rock-'n'-roll manager has a cache of cocaine ready backstage at an outdoor concert. When Kris Kristofferson, playing the rock star, arrives, the manager gives him a "one and one"—a toot in each nostril—just before he leaps onstage. Fireworks!

In the public mind, glamour is the trademark of coke. The archetypal users are still rock stars, movie actors, pro athletes, jet-setters—people who might be assumed to rely on coke to meet the pressures of peak performance. It is true that some...

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