But one drug that always bothered me since I was young was cocaine.
I used to feel that way about alcohol. :-)
Not only that, but when somebody close to me talks about it in a nonchalant way, ...
Yes unfortunately it can be massively insidious. IMO it's a bit like smoking cigarettes but more so -- addictive, people who try it like it, and IMO their liking its (transient) effect affects their judgement and will-power, self-control -- and physically people can do it a lot, repetitively, and for a very long time, without its killing them immediately.
... it tends to make me so uncomfortable that I can’t help but get defensive & agitated.
I think I'd call that "a defence mechanism" according to pop psychology.
Buddhism might judge this kind of thing, according to whether it's "skilful", whether it's "beneficial".
There's plenty of advice in Buddhism for lay people, about not getting involved with bad friends and bad habits, wasting money and time and health, and everything -- see for example Sigalovada Sutta (DN 31), which I think of as the sutta about the "six directions".
Your friends' nonchalance might imply they're comfortable with their actions (and possibly that they're "in denial" about their own anxieties and/or the disadvantages of their own drug habits). Normally your innate human sympathy might suggest that therefore (because they are nonchalant) you ought to be happy/comfortable too, but in this case I reckon it's wise that you shouldn't, and wise not to agree with them, even if (or even, because) that anxiety you feel isn't pleasant ... and isn't neutral.
I mention "neutral" because there's Buddhist doctrine that feelings can be categorised as pleasant (and associated with craving), unpleasant (associated with aversion), and neutral (associated with ignorance). I think it warns that unenlightened people aren't good with neutral feelings, don't recognise them, don't know what to do with them -- and instead only crave what's pleasant and flee from what's unpleasant.
I feel very hypocritical
I'm not sure that's "hypocritical" -- I think that hypocritical would be blaming others while thinking that you can do no wrong -- for example, "It's fine for me to abuse the drug, but it's wrong of you" would be hypocritical IMO.
And I feel like I am being very judgemental in my reactionary ways when it is discussed.
I guess that being judgemental is a bit contrary to the ethos of the drug culture (which might also want you to share drugs)
Someone who's judgemental isn't popular (and in general doing and saying whatever makes you unpopular might arouse anxiety too).
And I suspect that people who are (still) into drugs suffer from a relatively poor sense of judgement. Conversely I think that Buddhism (especially as described in the early texts) is about not suffering, and as a result of making good judgements (e.g. having "right view" and so on).
I also suspect that taking drugs will impair judgement, in various ways and for several reasons. Some drug users see that as a reason for taking drugs -- to "escape reality" or to have "an altered view" of it.
Is there any Buddhist guidance when it comes to how to deal with our aversions & judgements?
Yes, doctrine about the Brahmaviharas might be helpful:
These four attitudes are said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct towards living beings (sattesu samma patipatti). They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact.
I summarise them to myself as,
- I hope you're alright, "may you be well"
- I don't want to hurt you
- I'm happy when you're doing well (or doing good)
- and equanimity
IMO nothing there requires you to be happy about the fact that people are abusing drugs, but the attitudes might be a good alternative to enmity/hatred/aversion (the Dhammapada too, says, "hatred is never appeased by hatred, only by loving-kindness").
Another thing you should consider is whether these people are good friends. I think that Buddhism is keen to recommend that you spend time with, learn from, associate with good friends -- and avoid bad friends (see e.g. DN 31 again, Kalyāṇa-mittatā, the Rhinoceros sutta etc.).
I might say that in my own experience, if you're going to keep bad friends, then it's especially important (at least for your own well-being if not for theirs as well) for you to also find and get good advice from, counsel, from "good friends" -- people who are virtuous, sensible, self-controlled, knowledgeable, perhaps professional.
You might even (among other places) learn something from Nar-Anon -- learning from other people's experience -- or perhaps (from a more explicitly Buddhist context) https://5th-precept.org/ (though unlike -Anon I've haven't experienced that .org).
Another thing that Buddhism recommends is "seeing things as they truly are". I don't know a lot of doctrine about that. I guess that includes the doctrine of Dependent Origination, i.e. seeing how senses (sense-impressions, sense-contact, sense-consciousness) give rise to perceptions and feelings and cravings and so on and so on and so on. I guess it might also include accurately assess the advantages and disadvantages of, you know, different courses of action, different intentions, different reactions and decisions. And I think it means viewing things without craving and aversion, so it's a bit of a circular definition. :-) But I think it doesn't mean trying to see things with altered senses (acid and mushrooms) -- more to do with having a wise and non-grasping attitude towards reality (see also "suchness").
Finally (or firstly) I'd mention the four noble truths of Buddhism -- especially the second and third, i.e. that suffering is associated with craving, and, the cessation of suffering with the cessation of craving. My stereotype says that addicts get attached to drugs. That it was also because of the poisons that they turned to drugs in the first place (so now they have two problems, i.e. their original problem and now the drugs). That craving (for the drug) and therefore suffering ceases when they take the drug (which is why they take it) -- but only temporarily (that effect of taking-a-drug is impermanent, as well as being long-lasting in other ways, hence the temptation to take it again). So I'd recommend (and you probably agree) that what's better (than taking drugs to stop the craving) is to avoid the condition in which that craving arises, i.e. by not taking/becoming/remaining addicted in the first place.
One more thing, which might be a bit subtle but I think ties into to the doctrine of the Brahmaviharas. This answer associates "conceit" with "comparisons". And I think this is an opportunity for making comparisons (e.g. "being addicted is inferior to not being an addict" and "I am not an addict and they are"). Still, that answer says, a characteristic of semi- or relatively-enlightened people is that they make "true" (accurate) comparisons. However see also what Wikipedia says about conceit (Māna):
It is defined as an inflated mind that makes whatever is suitable, such as wealth or learning, to be the foundation of pride. It creates the basis for disrespecting others and for the occurrence of suffering.
Perhaps that's part of what you mean by not wanting to be "hypocritical" -- i.e. it's not wanting to be "disrespecting others" and so on. Conceit is also said to be a basis for (counter-productive and hurtful) sectarian arguments.
There’s one issue that seems to be very divisive in my conversations.
Perhaps it's normal to have preferences.
I'd personally prefer not to hear stories about people getting injured, or being cruel to each other, or horror movies, though I couldn't honestly say that it never happens. And in theory there are more or less tactful (adult, graceful) ways to listen -- ask if you can help -- or say you'd prefer not to, change the subject...
There's a whole bit of the Buddhist "noble eightfold path" -- i.e. Right Speech.