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Opium, Cocaine and Coca-Cola


Had Coca-Cola not removed cocaine from its list of ingredients, virtually everyone who has drank the beverage over the decades will have required substance abuse treatment as a cocaine addict.

In the late 1880s opium was still considered to have medicinal benefits, as was cocaine – which was an ingredient in Coca-Cola, a drink invented in 1886 by a U.S. druggist, John Pemberton, who described cocaine as "the greatest blessing to the human family, Nature's (God's) best gift in medicine." note44

By the 1890s doctors in Britain and the United States, considering the dangers of addiction,  were turning against the mass prescription of opiates. Pemberton died in 1888. Cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola in 1902.