Implicit and explicit cocaine-related cognitions were assessed in a sample of 16 cocaine-dependent polysubstance abusers and 16 age, gender, and SES-matched controls. Implicit associations were assessed with four unipolar versions of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), assessing associations between cocaine and positive affect, negative affect, arousal and sedation, relative to the contrast category "sports". Explicit cognitions were assessed with a questionnaire using the same words as the IAT. As expected, cocaine users scored higher on explicit arousal and lower on explicit sedation expectancies than controls. Unexpectedly, cocaine users demonstrated strong associations between cocaine and sedation and between cocaine and positive valence (relative to sports). Both associations were not found in controls. It is discussed that these paradoxical findings could be related to properties of the IATs used or that they may reflect a similar quieting effect as demonstrated for stimulants in children with ADHD.