- Cocaine and its products are known under many names, including coke, freebase, base, rock, and crack. The term cocaine comes from the Quechua word cuca (whichisthenativenameforthecoca plant) and the Latin noun ending ine.Itwas coined in or shortly before 1860 by the German chemist Albert Niemann (1831-1917), who was also the first to isolate coca from coca leaves. Coca leaves stem from the coca plants Erythroxy-lon coca and Erythroxylon novogranatense,which are indigenous to the Amazon and the eastern slopes of the Andes. It is believed that the leaves of both Erythroxylon species were chewed by Peruvian Incas as early as 4000 BC. From the 1860s onwards, both coca and cocaine were commercialized in the Western world through the production of cocaine cigarettes, cocaine ointments, cocaine nasal sprays, and alcoholic as well as nonalcoholic drinks prepared with the use of coca or cocaine. Incidentally, the beverage Coca Cola contained actual cocaine until the year 1906. Up to the present cocaine is used in biomedicine as an anaesthetic and analgesic. It was praised by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) as a rather harmless stimulant (used by himself in modest quantities), as well as a useful therapeutic in the treatment of alcoholism and opioid addiction. Today the raw product, consisting of coca leaves, is either chewed or dried and processed to obtain the active compound benzoylmethylecgonine, an alkaloid of the tropane group. In the form of cocaine hydrochloride, a dry white powder, the drug is used intranasally with the aid of a thin tube or straw. It can also be used intravenously, smoked through a water pipe (called freebasing), or inhaled with the aid of special equipment (in the form of crack, the drug's most potent form). Cocaine is believed to act chiefly as a CNS stimulant. Using the criterion of Psychoactive potential as a guiding principle, it is classified as a * deliriant or a drug of the stimulant-euphoriant class. Its use typically results in euphoria, an increase of physical energy, tachycardia, an increase in body temperature, and a decline in appetite. It may also lead to a paranoid and agitated state (in extreme cases referred to as cocaine dysphoria), hallucinations in any of the sensory modalities, trembling, vomiting, convulsions, and sudden cardiac arrest. * Cocaine hallucinosis and other perceptual disturbances are associated primarily with the chronic use of cocaine. Following the acute administration of cocaine, hallucinatory phenomena tend to be relatively rare. Tactile hallucinations of animals crawling beneath or upon the skin are referred to as * cocaine bugs.ReferencesFreud, S. (1887). Bemerkungen über Cocaïn-sucht und Cocaïnfurcht. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 37, 929-932.Rudgley, R. (1998). The encyclopaedia of psychoactive substances. London: Little, Brown and Company.Siegel, R.K. (1978). Cocaine hallucinations. American Journal of Psychiatry, 135, 309-314.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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