NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of Coca Plant (Erythroxylon coca), after an engraving by Blair in "Medicinal Plants", London 1880. The Coca Plant is the source of cocaine, an alkaloid drug originally used as a local anaesthetic in eye, ear, nose and throat surgery. Cocaine has, however, been used as a dependent drug as it also causes feelings of great exhilaration. The dependence it causes is primarily psychological, so dependence therapy is usually effective. More recently, cocaine has been produced synthetically throughout the world, especially in South and Central America.
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