Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) (INN) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" and the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic. Biologically, cocaine acts as a serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor, also known as a triple reuptake inhibitor (TRI). It is addictive because of its effect on the mesolimbic reward pathway.
Unlike most molecules, cocaine has pockets[clarification needed] with both high hydrophilic and lipophilic efficiency, violating the rule of hydrophilic-lipophilic balance. This causes it to cross the blood–brain barrier far better than other psychoactive chemicals and may even induce blood brain barrier breakdown.
It is illegal to possess, produce, or distribute cocaine for non-medicinal and non-government-sanctioned purposes in almost every country.