Cocaine: A Selection of Annotated Papers from 1880 to 1984 Concerning Health Effects


223 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-88868-114-3





Reviewed by Virginia Gillham

Virginia Gillham is Associate Librarian in the Public Service Library at
the University of Guelph.


This is number 19 in a series of annotated bibliographies produced by the Addiction Research Foundation, Toronto, dealing with addictive substances. Others in the series are concerned with alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cannabis.

From the Foundation’s collection of more than 600 research papers written over a period of nearly 100 years, and addressing various aspects of cocaine and its use, 277 have been selected, annotated, and listed in this volume, whose intent is to “provide a handy and enjoyable way to become familiar with what the experts have said about cocaine.” Selection has been limited to papers written in English, French, and German, with all annotations provided in English. Papers chosen discuss the health effects of recreational use of cocaine. Some allude to, but do not focus on, therapeutic administration of the drug, and a selection of writings on the subject of coca chewing is also offered. Papers concerned with pharmacokinetics, chemistry, animal experiments, botany, and law have not been included.

Annotations vary in length from a few lines to several pages and are intended to be nonjudgmental summaries simply reproducing in microcosm the content and philosophy of the original paper. Users are aided by an extensive keyword/subject index averaging more than 25 access points per entry; on the other hand, they are hindered by an annoyingly inexpensive printing/binding format, which allows the ends of lines on the left hand pages to disappear into the centre binding margin unless the binding is forced flat.

This is a good selection of papers, well and informatively annotated and indexed. It deserves better physical packaging.


Anglin, Lise, “Cocaine: A Selection of Annotated Papers from 1880 to 1984 Concerning Health Effects,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,