More than 100 years after Freud's original endorsement of the drug, the use of cocaine is a problem for both users and for society, which struggles to organise effective responses to the epidemic of the last decade. During the 1980s the rapid spread of smokeable cocaine (including 'crack') was seen in the Americas (particularly the US). The initial simple predictions of an identical European epidemic were mistaken. The available data on the extent of cocaine use and of cocaine problems in the UK are examined. New forms of cocaine have been developed by black-market entrepreneurs ('freebase' and 'crack'), and new technologies have emerged for their use; with these new technologies have come new effects and new problems. The general psychiatrist now needs a knowledge of directly and indirectly related psychopathology which has an increasing relevance to the diagnosis and management of the younger patient.
- EXTRACELLULAR DOPAMINE
- RELAPSE PREVENTION