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Ann Emerg Med. 1982 Oct;11(10):562-72.

Clinical management of acute and chronic cocaine poisoning.


At the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinics in San Francisco, the recreational use of cocaine is on a precipitous incline of popularity. Intensified symptoms of intoxication and the possibility of overdose parallel the current fad of smoking "freebase." We examined the "cocaine reaction," an adrenergic storm affecting CNS, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which may proceed to generalized collapse and death within minutes. The physiologic and pharmacologic mechanisms of the reaction are elaborated, and a logical algorithm of treatment is outlined. The psychodynamics of the "armed" cocaine personality is discussed, as is the proper psychological approach to these patients. A specific indicated technical and pharmacologic approach, as well as several caveats of therapy that have been clinically developed in the treatment of several hundred cases of cocaine overdose, are presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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