A case of acute renal failure due to rhabdomyolysis in a patient who used cocaine on a daily basis is presented. In contrast to many prior reports of renal failure occurring with cocaine-associated rhabdomyolysis, our patient did not use intravenous cocaine and did not have any evidence of trauma, seizure, hypotension, hyperthermia, hyperactivity, or coma. His creatine phosphokinase peaked at 448,000 U/liter. He was treated initially with forced diuresis and i.v. furosemide, but he became oliguric, developed pulmonary edema, and required hemodialysis. He recovered fully after 3 weeks of dialysis. The literature is reviewed in an attempt to delineate a rational approach to evaluating cocaine users at risk for rhabdomyolysis.