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Cocaine: History, Use, Abuse (1999)

Cocaine: History, Use, Abuse (1999)

  1. Jatelka
    Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine August; 92(8): 393–397.

    Karch, SB

    ' ... spread of morphia and the cocaine habit, is becoming an evil more serious and more deadly than opium smoking, and this evil is certain to increase ... '-Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Minister, writing to the American Ambassador in London in 1910.

    Until late in the 1800s, few Europeans even knew that cocaine existed. Cocaine did not become an important business commodity until the scientific foundations of coca growing and cocaine production were established, very late in the nineteenth century. The impact of cocaine abuse on society, not to mention the impact of cocaine use on the death rate, can be accurately related to technical advances in the cocaine trade. The net effect of these advances has been to increase the amount of cocaine that users of this drug can get into their bodies. What follows is a brief description of some of the more important milestones in cocaine technology, and an overview of the most serious medical disorders caused by chronic cocaine use.