It's long been the drug of choice of musicians, models and the media.
A social stimulant and Class A drug, cocaine has for years been favoured by the Champagne Charlie jet-set - the all-night party people with money to burn.
But its influence goes beyond the rich and famous, the rockstars and their hangers-on. In recent years the drug has become more readily available and more socially acceptable.
Cocaine, or charlie, as it's commonly referred to, has taken over from Ecstasy as the second most popular illegal drug, after cannabis.
Street prices have fallen and it's no longer necessary to earn a substantial salary to be able to fork out for the drug.
The high-profile deaths in Dublin and London of top Irish model Katy French and BBC children's presenter Natasha Collins - both cocaine users - has thrown the spotlight, once again, back on the drug.
However, thanks to the ongoing glamorisation of the drug by celebrities, it's never really far from the headlines.
Just look at the tabloids over the past few years and the endless stream of stories about celebs and their "paryting", a euphemism, if ever there was one, for taking cocaine.
"Party girl Lindsay Lohan is arrested for coke possession" screams one red top, while another reveals "Calum Best's shame over coke and hooker orgy".
But instead of being turned off the drug by the seedy stories that go with it, cocaine's image has been bizarrely boosted by the celebrity endorsements of Kate Moss, Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse.
Dr Terry MacGowan, a Ballymena-based GP, believes a war on drugs is not the way forward but instead, that education must begin at school level.
And he says that celebrity usage is sending out the wrong messages to young people in our society.
"We have to make sure our young people are making the right decisions. Celebrities taking cocaine are not role models but unfortunately many young people look up to the stars."
Cathy Martin, who organises Belfast Fashion Week, said she practises a policy of zero tolerance towards drug taking.
"When it comes to drink and drugs back stage, I just won't let it happen," she said.
"And if I noticed a model behaving erratically, I wouldn't use her."
Former model Michelle McTernan said: "I think it's shocking that it's so rife in Ireland now. The likes of Kate Moss have glamorised its use undoubtedly and it seems to be more readily available now. I'd say it's fairly widespread, not just in fashion and entertainment circles.
"When I was modelling there was no talk of cocaine, I'd never even heard of it," she said.
Michelle said she would take exception to models taking it.
"If they're working for us, it's a no-go area," she said.
However, Alison Campbell, who runs the ACA model agency and organises the Miss Northern Ireland pageant each year, said she was aware that people did use the drug, but had never been in any circles where it was on offer.
"That might sound hard to believe but I can honestly say it's never been on the go in any of the company I've been in. I'm not naive enough to think that people don't take it but I've just never come across it.
"After the death of Katy French, my models were just saying how tragic it was, but there wasn't really that much talk about it.
"I can't say I've ever heard any of them talking about cocaine, but mind you, if they were dabbling, would they tell me?"
Drugs and rock 'n' roll have always gone hand in hand, although according to local musician John Rossi, cocaine use in the band scene in Northern Ireland is fairly uncommon.
John, who plays with Belfast-based rock band The Black Tokens, said: " There's always been a connection between the rock star fraternity and substance abuse. Wealth, glamour, excesses and the substances that accompany these knees-ups always made the headlines.
"Has this filtered its way to the local music scene?
"Most local bands starting out have to work for their gigs, drive to and from them and set up their 'gear'. This all leaves time just for the music and not much other recreational time."
But he did acknowledge its use at higher level.