A strong central nervous system stimulant that enhances alertness and restrains appetite.
Cocaine is a white crystalline powder that is prepared from the leaf of the Erythroxylon coca bush, which is grown in Peru and Bolivia. It was first identified by a German chemist named Albert Niemann in the mid-19th century, when it was initiated as a tonic/elixir in medicines to treat real or envisioned illnesses. The mechanism of action of cocaine is to block the reuptake of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter. Cocaine was used medically as a local anesthetic to perform eye, ear, nose, or throat surgery, although it has long since been replaced. Now, it is generally sold on the streets as a powder to be snorted in order to increase alertness and temporary feelings of pleasure.
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