From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug.[10] It is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or dissolved and injected into a vein.[9] Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation.[9] Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils.[9] High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature.[11] Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes.[9] Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.[12]

Cocaine is addictive due to its effect on the reward pathway in the brain.[10] After a short period of use, there is a high risk that dependence will occur.[10] Its use also increases the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, lung problems in those who smoke it, blood infections, and sudden cardiac death.[10][13] Cocaine sold on the street is commonly mixed with local anesthetics, cornstarch, quinine, or sugar, which can result in additional toxicity.[14] Following repeated doses a person may have decreased ability to feel pleasure and be very physically tired.[10]

Cocaine acts by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.[10] This results in greater concentrations of these three neurotransmitters in the brain.[10] It can easily cross the blood–brain barrier and may lead to the breakdown of the barrier.[15][16] Cocaine is a naturally occurring substance found in the coca plant which is mostly grown in South America.[9] In 2013, 419 kilograms were produced legally.[17] It is estimated that the illegal market for cocaine is 100 to US$500 billion each year.[10] With further processing crack cocaine can be produced from cocaine.[10]

Cocaine is the second most frequently used illegal drug globally, after cannabis.[18] Between 14 and 21 million people use the drug each year.[10] Use is highest in North America followed by Europe and South America.[10] Between one and three percent of people in the developed world have used cocaine at some point in their life.[10] In 2013, cocaine use directly resulted in 4,300 deaths, up from 2,400 in 1990.[19] The leaves of the coca plant have been used by Peruvians since ancient times.[14] Cocaine was first isolated from the leaves in 1860.[10] Since 1961, the international Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has required countries to make recreational use of cocaine a crime.[20] style=’fon