Cocaine is the most potent stimulant of natural origin, a bitter addictive anesthetic (pain blocker) which is extracted from the leaves of the coca scrub (Erythroxylon coca) indigenous to the Andean highlands of South America. From the name of the plant came the name cocaine and its street name “coke” (and “Coke” as in Coca Cola, which once contained it). Once the American surgeon William S. Halstead (1852-1922) had injected cocaine into nerve trunks and showed it numbed feeling, cocaine came into use as an anesthetic agent. It was first employed as a spinal anesthetic in 1898 by the German surgeon August Bier. In the 1890s, Sigmund Freud used it extensively and sang its praises before the addictive potential was fully appreciated. Soon thereafter the addictiveness of cocaine was discovered. Safer anesthetics were developed in the 20th century and cocaine fell into disuse in medicine as a pain blocker. Tragically, cocaine continues in use as a highly addictive and destructive street drug, an inadvertent contribution by medicine to the contemporary drug culture. Dentist still use pure dental grade cocaine as a topical anesthetic. Unfortunately, it still hurts like heck to have a needle stuck in your mouth.