A former Washington Post crime reporter discusses his own demons. This is a description of his first experience with crack (emphasis mine).
She loaded a small chunk of crack, less than half the size of an M&M, onto the mesh. She produced a lighter, brought the pipe to her lips and the flame to the filter. She inhaled, and white smoke coursed through the pipe, which she handed to me.
The rush hit me in two or three seconds and literally knocked me back two steps. It was as if a euphoria bomb had exploded in my brain. Imagine the most physically rapturous moment of your life, multiplied exponentially, and you might get close to the feeling.
I wobbled but stayed on my feet. I looked at the woman. She asked if I was okay. I said, "Wow."
That was my first hit.