A brief discussion of the history of the plant (Erythroxylum coca) reveals that cocaine is a proven medicinal modality as well as an illicit drug. Cocaine is obtained from processing the leaves of shrubs that are indigenous to Peru and Bolivia.
First described in the 16th century, as a plant that was chewed and induced feelings of exhilaration and pleasures. Later in 1859, cocaine was purified and thought to be a cure for alcohol and morphinism and used by the medical profession at the time. Unfortunately, many early patients ended up with one more habit, that being cocaine. Fortunately, in the 20th century cocaine addiction treatment became available, including early intervention and substance abuse education. Prior to the advent of cocaine treatment, addicts were prone to overdose and the debilitating effects of a long-term compulsion without help from a cocaine rehab center.