Illustration by Jordin Isip

Crack cocaine delivers a level of pleasure completely outside the normal range of human experience. It offers the most intense sense of being alive the user will ever enjoy. Groping for adequate words, crack takers sometimes speak of the rush in terms of a “whole-body orgasm.” Drug-naive virgins cannot be confident that they have grasped the significance of such an expression. To do so, it is necessary to take the drug oneself, via its distinctive delivery mechanism. This is at best very imprudent. Any drug that induces a secular parody of heaven commonly leads the user into the biological counterpart of hell.

There is, however, a single predictable time of life when taking crack cocaine is sensible, harmless, and both emotionally and intellectually satisfying. Indeed, for such an occasion it may be commended. Certain estimable English doctors were once in the habit of administering to terminally ill cancer patients an elixir known as the “Brompton cocktail.” This was a judiciously blended mixture of cocaine and heroin. The results were gratifying not just to the recipient. Relatives of the stricken patient were pleased, too, at the newfound look of spiritual peace and happiness suffusing the features of a loved one preparing to meet his or her Maker.

Drawing life to a close with a transcendentally orgasmic bang instead of a pathetic, godforsaken whimper can turn dying into the culmination of one’s existence rather than its present messy and protracted anticlimax.

One is conceived in pleasure. One may reasonably hope to die in it.


David Pearce is the author of The Hedonistic Imperative, a manifesto on the eradication of suffering in all sentient life. He lives in Brighton, England. “When Is It Best To Take Crack Cocaine?” has been adapted from an essay on his Web site,

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