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Cocaine Cocaine is a drug derived from the leaf of the Erytroxylon cocoa bush, which grows primarily in Peru and Bolivia. Cocaine also known as coke, C, snow, flake, nose candy, blow, or crack is generally sold on the street as a hydrochloride salt( a water-soluble salt). Cocaine is a fine, white crystalline powder often diluted with similar-looking substances such as talcum powder, sugar, or amphetamines. The powder can be snorted into the nostrils, also may be rubbed onto the mucous linings of the mouth, rectum, or vagina. To experience cocaine's effects quickly, and to heighten their intensity, users sometimes dissolve it in water and injects into a vein. The drug may be smoked in a purified form through a water pipe (freebassing) or in a concentrated form (crack) shaped into pellets or rocks and placed in special smoking gear. Despite today's abuse of the highly addictive drug, cocaine was intended for medical purposes. Pure cocaine was first extracted and identified by the German chemist Albert Niemann in the mid-19thcentury, and was introduced as a tonic/elixir in patent medicines to treat a variety of real or imagined illnesses. Later, it was used as a local anesthetic for eye, ear, and throat surgery and continues today to have limited use in surgery. Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that heightens alertness and provides intense feelings of pleasure. Because of it's potent euphoric and energizing effects, many people in the late 19th century took cocaine, even though some physicians recognized that users quickly became dependent. In the 1880s, the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud created a sensation with a series of papers praising cocaine=s potential to cure depression, alcoholism, and morphine addiction. Skepticism soon replaced this excitement, however, when documented reports of fatal cocaine poisoning, alarming mental disturbances, and cocaine addiction began to circulate. In 1902, ninety two percent of all cocaine sold in major cities in the United States was in the form of an ingredient in tonics and potions available from local pharmacies. In 1911, the Canadian government legally restricted cocaine use, and its popularity decreased. The 1920s and 1930s saw a decline in its use, especially after amphetamines became easily available. Cocaine=s popular return beginning in the late 1960s, coincided with the decreased use of amphetamines. Along with the feelings of pleasure comes negative effects. The effects of any drug depend on the amounts taken at one time, the user=s past drug experience, the manner in which the drug is taken, and the circumstances under which the drug is taken.

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