cocaine

Introduction

cocaine (kōkānˈ, kōˈkān) [key], alkaloid drug derived from the leaves of the coca shrub. A commonly abused illegal drug, cocaine has limited medical uses, most often in surgical applications that take advantage of the fact that, in addition to its anesthetic effect, it constricts small arteries, lessening bleeding. There are many street names for cocaine, including coke, C, toot, flake, and snow.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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