GUSTOIMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GUSTOIMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cocaine. Plastic bag containing the class A drug cocaine. Cocaine is an alkaloid drug obtained from the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca). The powdered drug is taken by sniffing into the nose where it is absorbed across the nasal membrane into the blood stream. It causes feelings of great exhilaration and energy. Prolonged use damages the nasal passages and may lead to anxiety, paranoia and dependency. Overdose of cocaine can result in cardiac arrhythmias, seizures and death.
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