Cocaine is an illegal/illicit drug of abuse that belongs to a larger class of substances known as stimulants. Nicotine is a legal recreational substance that produces both stimulating and depressing effects inside the brain and body. Repeated consumption of either cocaine or nicotine can trigger the characteristic changes in brain function that mark the onset of addiction. In a study published in 2014 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University looked at the common origins of cocaine addiction and nicotine addiction. These researchers concluded that both forms of addiction rely partly on access to the same pathway to the brain.