Cocaine hydrochloride, the purest form of cocaine

Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) (INN) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic. Specifically, it is a serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which mediates functionality of these neurotransmitters as an exogenous catecholamine transporter ligand. Because of the way it affects the mesolimbic reward pathway, cocaine is addictive.

In major nations, cocaine has alternately been a legal, over-the-counter medicine, and an outlawed narcotic. The latter status has never stopped its being the center of a profitable, and often violent, illicit market.

Cocaine in AtlantisEdit

Athelstan Helms had made a certain study of the noxious alkaloids derived from plants. One particular plant from southern Terranova produced alkaloids that, though a stimulant, had deleterious side effects if used for extended periods of time. This interest led Helms to visit the Atlantean Museum in Hanover, Atlantis when he and his companion James Walton were in Atlantis to investigate a series of murders.[1]

Literary Comment Edit

This is an allusion to Sherlock Holmes, the British fictional character on which Helms is based, who was addicted to cocaine. It is not clear in this story whether Helms shares the same vice.

Cocaine in "King of All"Edit

Coke was legal in the U.S. and was considered a normal pick-me-up. One morning Detective Ralph Sandars woke up dead tired. He felt stuck in low gear and couldn't get going. He stopped at a McDonald's on the way to the station and ordered a sausage McMuffin, some hash browns and a large Coke. Before he did anything else, he peeled back the foil lid on the plastic container and took a deep snort. He felt well being flow through him and happy started on his breakfast.

Cocaine in The Two GeorgesEdit

Erythroxylum novogranatense

Coca leaves and berries

Coca leaf extract had been illegal in the North American Union since the beginning of the 20th century. Users would sniff it much like tobacco snuff but its effects were not at all as mild.

In 1995 Captain Jaime Macias' investigation into the murder of "Honest" Dick led him to Zachariah James Fenton. When Fenton was arrested at his home, the New Liverpool Police found a recently discharged Nagant rifle, an assortment of Holy Alliance firearms, ₤219,827 in gold and silver currency, and 943 pounds of Nueva Granadan coca leaf extract.[2]


  1. See e.g.: Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 397, HC.
  2. The Two Georges, p. 499, MPB, p. 324, HC.