Once upon a time, when I was very young, I had a good piece of advice. I must have been young as, since I've got older, I've taken advice less and less seriously... either that or I must have really respected whoever it was who gave me the advice (despite forgetting his name now). The advice was dead simple really and consisted of the two words in the title. I think I must have been asking about his illicit drug use... thinking about it while I'm writing I'm pretty sure I remember the chap now and I remember the place too. I'm pretty sure that we were just chatting and that the conversation was in the context of him being a disabled guest at the hotel I was volunteering at as a rather naive 16 year old. He was disabled for some reason I can't remember - I think he was either damaged as result of his work as part of the uniformed services or was suffering from some degenerative illness - and we were talking about his youth and the drugs he'd taken... he seemed really rather wistful about it all but not in that he wished he'd taken powders but in that he wanted a spliff.
His advice was to never take anything too strong... things like cocaine or heroin. Other things were fine, pills and herbs and such, but powders led to all sorts of issues.
My professional experience pretty much mirrored the thoughts behind that advice. The odd bit of wacky-backi was no biggie but those who played with smack were generally left buggered. Cocaine use I had less experience of professionally but the experience that I did have generally was mixed. Some people seemed to be happy as pigs in shite after taking the odd bit of coke but ended up feeling like shite for a while afterwards - some were just complete monsters when they'd taken it and shite afterwards.
The advice stood though as it seemed that those who took it were always beholden afterwards. Plus it is/was an expensive old drug and definitely a rich persons drug. I know people who take it like some people take champagne: every-so-often they can afford it and take it as a treat... others take it when they can't afford it and keep on taking it at the expense of their jobs, relationships, homes... even their children - not nice and really quite cheap in the end.
Heroin chic, or even cocaine chic, is all well and good - just so long as it's in a film and not in my face. Losing everything and fixing yourself and battling heroically back is lovely and all and heart-warming but not half as good as not losing it all in the first place and not being an utter knob!
The advice stands then. It might cost me everything or it might be a treat but either way it's not something I'm going to gamble on so I'll follow the advice and never take powders.
Those that don't follow that advice then good luck!