Cocaine is a classical stimulant substance of the tropane class. It is a naturally-occurring alkaloid extracted from the leaves of several coca plant species; namely, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense. The mechanism of action involves increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain.

Benzoylmethylecgonine, Coke, Cola, Snow, Blow, Nose Candy, Chari

Subjective effects include stimulation, increased blood pressure, appetite suppression, disinhibition, motivation enhancement, ego inflation, increased libido, and euphoria. Routes of administration include insufflation (“snorting” or “sniffing”) and occasionally injection. Oral intake is rare, but possible, and possesses a marketly longer duration; 60 minutes as opposed to 10–20 minutes when insufflated or 5 minutes smoked.

Cocaine is among one of the oldest recreational drugs, with a 1000-year-old collection of drug paraphernalia being found in a rock shelter in Bolivia, featuring traces of five psychoactive chemicals, including cocaine and components of ayahuasca. Coca leaves denotes one of the earliest documentations of cocaine alkaloid isolation. In 1855, when German chemist Friedrich Gaedcke published a description in the journal “Archiv der Pharmazie”, naming the alkaloid “erythoxyline.” 5 years later, 1860, Albert Niemann describes the isolation of an alkaloid from coca and calls it cocaine.

Oral, Smoked, Snorted