BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cocaine snorting. Fingers hold a straw used to snort a "line" of cocaine. Several other lines can be seen on the mirror. Cocaine is an alkaloid drug obtained from leaves of the coca plant, Erythroxylon coca. Cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal membrane, where it stimulates the central nervous system to produce feelings of exhilaration and energy. Prolonged use of cocaine leads to anxiety, paranoia and psychological dependency, while snorting the drug may cause damage to the nose lining. Overdoses can result in cardiac arrhythmia, seizure and death.
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