Cocaine and crack represent major drugs of abuse (about 6.4 million regular users in North America and 4 million in Europe) due to the rapid production of euphoria following administration. Cocaine is probably the oldest known peripheral nerve conduction blocker. It serves as local painkiller by blocking the inward flux of sodium ions during depolarization and is still used in eye, nose, throat, dental, and ear surgery. Cocaine abuse causes many health problems, is very damaging to heart cells, and, depending upon route of administration, has high addiction potential. Cocaine hydrochloride (named by Dr. Albert Neimann in 1860) is a major psychomotor stimulant drug. It is also called benzoylmethylecgoninen, an ester of the tropane alkaloid.

Crack is of a form of cocaine named because of the ...

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