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Cocaine (INN) (benzoylmethylecgonine, an ecgonine derivative) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" and the alkaloid suffix "-ine", forming "cocaine". It is a stimulant, an appetite suppressant, and a nonspecific voltage gated sodium channel blocker, which in turn causes it to produce anaesthesia at low doses. Biologically, cocaine acts as a serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor, also known as a triple reuptake inhibitor (TRI). It is addictive due to its effect on the mesolimbic reward pathway. It is markedly more dangerous than other CNS stimulants, including the entire amphetamine drug class, at high doses due to its effect on sodium channels, as blockade of Nav1.5 can cause sudden cardiac death.
Unlike most molecules, cocaine has pockets[clarificationneeded] with both high hydrophilic and lipophilic efficiency, violating the rule of hydrophilic-lipophilic balance. This causes it to cross the blood–brain barrier far better than other psychoactive chemicals[citationneeded] and may even induce blood-brain barrier breakdown.
It is controlled internationally by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (Schedule I, preparation in Schedule III).
Comparison of the perceived harm for 20 popular recreational drugs from a poll among medical psychiatrists specialized in addiction treatment. Cocaine is ranked the 2nd most addictive and the 2nd most harmful of 20 popular recreational drugs.
Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from fifteen to thirty minutes, to an hour. That is all depending on the amount of the intake dosage and the route of administration. Cocaine can be in the form of fine white powder, bitter to the taste. When inhaled or injected, it causes a numbing effect. “Crack” cocaine is a smokeable form of cocaine made into small “rocks” by processing cocaine with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water.
Cocaine increases alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality. Anxiety, paranoia and restlessness can also occur, especially during the comedown. With excessive dosage, tremors, convulsions and increased body temperature are observed. Severe cardiac adverse events, particularly sudden cardiac death, become a serious risk at high doses due to cocaine's blo