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Semin Diagn Pathol. 2009 Feb;26(1):10-7.

Cocaine: history, social implications, and toxicity: a review.

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  • 1Holy Cross Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


The amount of positive cocaine results in an urban emergency department are staggering. The ages of use are becoming more common in older age groups. Most of these patients have underlying medical conditions, including end-stage renal disease (on hemodialysis) and heart and lung disease. Most of their visits to the emergency department are for cocaine exacerbation of underlying chronic condition, adding exponentially to health care dollars. This article describes the history and pharmacology of illicit cocaine use.

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