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Sigmund Freud's cocaine problem
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was once one of cocaine’s leading medical advocates.
July 22nd, 2011
03:32 PM ET

Sigmund Freud's cocaine problem

Editor's note: Nearly 130 years ago, cocaine was the world’s newest wonder drug touted as a cure for everything from morphine addiction to tuberculosis. And its biggest supporter was Sigmund Freud. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the fascinating history and what it means for us today on "Sanjay Gupta M.D." at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

Whenever Big Pharma unfurls its latest “blockbuster” drug, I am carried back to the era when the biggest wonder drug on the market was cocaine. Yes, cocaine!

In the early 1880s, pharmaceutical houses touted it as a cure for everything from morphine addiction and depression to dyspepsia and fatigue. It was widely available in tonics, powders, wines and soft drinks before its mass consumption created a cadre of raging addicts demanding medical attention.

One of cocaine’s leading medical advocates was a struggling Viennese neurologist named Sigmund Freud. He began studying cocaine’s effects in 1884, and his clinical notebooks amply demonstrate that his favorite experimental subject was himself.

The evolution of the once 'wonder drug'

Initially, Sigmund was eager to employ cocaine as an antidote for his best friend’s morphine addiction. Ernst Fleischl-Marxow was a brilliant physiologist who injured his thumb while dissecting a cadaver, resulting in chronic pain tamed only by large doses of morphine.

Substituting one addictive drug for another was a common means of treating substance abuse in the late 19th century. What all these well-intentioned games of medical musical chairs did most reliably was to create “new and improved” addicts.

Freud, in essence, transformed his highly functioning, albeit opiate-dependent, friend into an addled cocaine and morphine addict who was dead seven years later at age 45.

One would think that this episode would have soured Freud on the drug. Yet like most humans ensnared by cocaine’s addictive grip, for the next 12 years, he continued to sing its praises and consumed a great deal of cocaine to quell his physical aches and mental anxieties. In a perverse way, Freud loved how cocaine made him talk endlessly about memories and experiences he previously thought were locked in his brain for no one to hear, let alone judge.

Freud’s most haunting encounter with the drug occurred in 1895 after he and a colleague named Wilhelm Fleiss nearly killed a patient named Emma Eckstein with a botched operation and too much cocaine. Several nights later, he had a disturbing dream about a party where Eckstein blamed Freud for his gross negligence.

Today, Eckstein is better known as “Irma," the pseudonym Freud gave her in his masterpiece, "The Interpretation of Dreams." When writing about his dream, Freud glossed over his obvious malpractice, an act that today would have resulted in disgrace, loss of medical license, lawsuits and even jail time.

Instead, Freud explained the dream meant he was a caring doctor who was, if anything, overly concerned about his patient, “Irma."

Like so many others, Freud suffered from the most maddening symptom of addiction: the stealthy process by which the addict’s mind conspires to convince that nothing, nothing at all, is askew or dangerous about something that most decidedly is.

Indeed, if one set out to design addiction as an implacable disease, he would be hard pressed to come up with a more diabolical symptom than denial, the need to lead a double life feeding the addiction in private while struggling to starve, or at least conceal, it in public for long periods of time.

Until, that is, the addiction completely takes over with disastrous results and public masquerade is no longer possible.

One assumes that his clinical experiences with Eckstein, if not Fleischl-Marxow, taught him that cocaine was far too dangerous for any therapeutic application. In the fall of 1896, the day after his father’s funeral, Freud claimed to have put his “cocaine brush” aside. No documentary evidence exists to refute his testimony.

But for the remaining days of his life, Freud had far greater difficulty in fully comprehending the dangerous consequences of his substance abuse. He decidedly, and repeatedly, misinterpreted his famous dream of cocaine. Instead, he chose to elaborate a far more flattering and positive analysis that epitomizes an addiction’s power of subterfuge.

The man who invented psychoanalysis, a revolutionary pursuit for self-truth, succumbed to the same “big lie” most every practicing addict tells himself every day.

Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan, is the author of "An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine" (Pantheon).

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soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. willie

    I wonder, did he roll up dollar bills and snort it or was he a mainliner?

    July 22, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ost

      He did not snort, he injected a " 7% cocaine solution" under his skin periodically.

      February 27, 2012 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
  2. SoberInParadise

    So much for insight into addiction! Freud sounds like he was as "Bad" as Michael Jackson was when it came to Denial... The Greatest Dis-ease of them All! :P

    July 22, 2011 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jeff

    Are there people out there that didn't know Freud had a huge coke problem?

    July 22, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike

      there are people who can't locate the United States on a map...so yes

      July 22, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • L C B

      Yes – I am a person – and No – I did not know that Freud used/abused cocaine, until this posting! 'Nuff said? Thanx.

      July 22, 2011 at 20:04 | Report abuse |
    • Paula

      In fact, I have "heard" from one of my professors that Freud has left letters to his son to be opened at specific time increments. These letters are "presumed" to explain his addiction and "a-ha" moments regarding the "power" of Cocaine.

      July 22, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
    • magick727

      Every time a hear one of these stories or studies repeated as if its new 'news' serves a reminder that I'm getting old. Younger narcissistic generations will always assume that the first time they hear something is that first time the everyone else has. Some of them are given columns to write about their "discoveries".

      July 23, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • Kolias

      Freud have used coke regularly and smoked a dozen cigars a day, yet he lived till 83 and even then would not die without outside help. Not bad!

      July 23, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff B.

      LCB –
      I think you meant "Snuff said" !

      July 23, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • TXHolly

      Only the ones that didn't go to college, and only 20% of those read the news.

      July 23, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • Newton

      Now that's just alot of crap. Cocaine is wonderful! – Amy Winehouse

      July 23, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Magick: Its about REinforming the youth about facts they might not hear of otherwise, unless some completely random research leads them to unpopular source material. Wow.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Thia

      I didn't know this, actually. Psychology is not a huge area of interest for me and I've not spent a great deal of time reading about it beyond Psych 101.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      What I didn't realize was that cocaine's heyday coincided so closely with the decline in the use of cannabis as a medicine. Hmm.

      July 24, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • mt

      I didn't know it, but I still think you have a good point. This is supposed to be a news site, not a history site.

      July 24, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • Specialplace

      I even heard that he used so much cocaine that he had serious problems with the roof of his mouth, something even requiring surgery....

      July 25, 2011 at 02:39 | Report abuse |
  4. Mantis Tobogan

    Cocaine is not a problem. All the crap that it is cut with is the problem. If we all had pure cocaine, there would be no problems. It is as safe as marijuana.

    July 22, 2011 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SANJOSEMIKE

      I assume you are a physician or a pharmacologist? You sound SOOO authoritative!!

      It's a real relief to hear your words from on-high (pun intended).

      July 22, 2011 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      um, no it is not. cocaine desolves muscle tissue on contact, and a 20th of a gram can stop the heart. Marajuana has zero long term health effects. dont get me wrong i love a powder, but weed is safe , not coke.

      July 22, 2011 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
    • Paula

      Although I agree that many drugs would be safer if used in the "good old days" (obtained from a pharmacy), I must strongly disagree on the dangerous use of Cocaine. I have seen it "eat" away many a friend's life. In fact, any substance that "enhances" human experience (if abused) is dangerous. "Moderation" and understanding consequences are the two big problems that need be overcome when experimenting with any drug.

      July 22, 2011 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • The One

      Please don't smear marijuana's good name by lumping it in with cocaine. Cocaine should only be grouped with alcohol, opiates, and amphetimines.

      July 22, 2011 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
    • riprap

      Spoken like a true addict. "I'll do anything to not be a coke addict except give up cocaine."

      July 23, 2011 at 06:46 | Report abuse |
    • penny

      Suggestion: read article ..noting comments about ... " denial "

      July 23, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • ALAnnie

      smoking mj is entirely different. how many movies have you seen where a stoner is blowing guys for weed? coke is another story.

      July 23, 2011 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • bdo1183

      Cocaine actually is a problematic drug. However it in itself is not the problem. Addiction is the problem when can be had for any substance be it a drug video game etc. Cocaine as we know it in the U.S. is a highly dangerous substance. In the natural form from the coca plant and no for you people with a first grade education about drugs thats the COCA plant NOT THE COCO plant. In the plant itself it's chewed as a stimulant. There are substances in the plant to tone down the effects of the stimulant so it is about as potent as a cup of coffee. Which also can be somewhat of a dependency How many of us wake up each day and claim we can't function without coffee. The medical reason is a dependence on the caffeine. This is wrong. From personal experience i can use decaf and get the same effect what i'm addicted to is the hot cup of coffee and the smell and taste as soon as i get up. In the natural form coca leaf is about akin to a 5 hr energy shot. Cocaine as we know it here is a refined extract with harsh chemicals added making it highly potent and yes dangerous because of the intake methods. Also the fact that it's illegal makes it all the more mysterious just like Marijuana and other drugs which makes it highly prized and since it is illegal and not regulated like alcohol hey imagine that a legal highly addictive substance. BUT the difference here is alcohol is regulated so that we don't drink rubbing alcohols methyl alcohol from wood fires etc. If drugs were done the same way it would lessen the problem. In any subject some basic education should always be used

      July 23, 2011 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
    • qanerd

      The cocaine that Freud had was a pure as the driven show, so to speak

      July 24, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
    • Cam

      No, I think if you had pure uncut cocaine you would be dead!

      July 24, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      Mantis is wrong and so are you pot heads. There are just as many folks in treatment for pot as there are for cocaine

      July 25, 2011 at 00:48 | Report abuse |
    • Paolo

      Sounds like addict talk to me. Nothing wrong at all....

      July 25, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • mokshastep

      It's pretty terrifying that you think a drug (referring to cocaine) that destroys your body and mind- that has been PROVEN- is harmless.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
  5. ibrad

    I`d rather take pure cocaine or Marijuana then ANY drugs from the companies. I don`t trust them! I use real sugar not fake sugar, I use lemons not realemon. The same thing for everything man makes ...Oh yeah it`s so safe you can give it to a baby!...Then 10-20 years later, Oh yeah, were sorry we made a little mistake .

    July 22, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 12-21-12

      Just don't give the baby the marihuana nor the cocaine! Thanks!

      July 22, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      agreed, just read the list of side effect on pharma products, and this is comeing from a pharmacy technician.

      July 22, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • penny

      If you had a serious infection ... would you not take an antibiotic ? Tetnus if you step on a rusty nail ? Have an injury treated with sutures or antiseptics ... ALL made by pharm companies ?

      July 23, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • CalgarySandy

      You don't have to read the side effects. They are provided for you during ads for the drugs on TV. I think the problem with pharmaceuticals is that they are not tested over a long enough period of time. They want to get them out there and start raking in the money as soon as possible. Many drugs have been found to be really dangerous and have been withdrawn or banned. I have been prescribed drugs that, when I looked on line, were being implicated in all manner of nastiness. I talk to my Doctor and she tells me not to believe everything I read. I tell her I surveyed all the literature. I refuse the drug and a few months later it is withdrawn. Even good doctors cannot keep up with it all. Heck, Asprin would not be OTC if it were invented today due to the side effects if taken too much. Tylenol will rot your liver if you use much of it. Personally, I believe that weed is better for lots of things than taking drugs made out of petroleum products by big Pharma.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • carlos

      But cocaine and marijuana have been sufficiently tested for side effects? Answer: They have not.

      July 23, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Carlos,

      Are you kidding me? MJ has been used for thousands of years, and cocaine has been around for just as long. If you don't think humans have experimented with those and understand their effects by now, how could you claim pharma companies know what their side effects are?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • Sasha

      You know that they used to give cocaine to babies, don't you? Tonics, toothache drops, cough drops...

      July 24, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  6. Rick James B****

    Cocaine's a hell of a drug.

    July 22, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      It is a boring drug unless you have someone to talk to. No altered consciousness like the psychedelics. After 2 weeks of snorting uncut coke in Italy I quit because it was ruining my hash high. Boring.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • bobbyganoosh

      agreed sandy. First 20 minutes is awesome....then spend the rest of the night trying to repeat the feeling. chasing the dragon. lame.

      July 24, 2011 at 05:32 | Report abuse |
  7. hippypoet

    right, the coke thing was well know a long time ago, like when he was alive! the thing i find to be amazing is that the U.S. history of cocaine is white dock owners gave it to their black workers so they would work longer hours and complain less...because they were screwed up! now wheres the cnn report on that?

    July 22, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Al

      great point!!!

      July 22, 2011 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
    • 12-21-12

      Sanjay leave's that part of history for Soledad.

      July 22, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      rofl hippy. the same place that the fact the us army gave the indians blankets infected with small pox on them whant to hear something really good? the sad fact is its coming to that point again. our drs dont treat ue now. uncle sam does. with that in mind wgat would uncke sam do to keep us working?slavery isnt about the color of your skin these days, the color that matters is green.

      July 23, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
    • CalgarySandy

      Yah, and there was Coca Cola and all its addicts.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
  8. killallthewhiteman

    Oh how life would have been easy back then.

    July 22, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      There was no middle class to speak of then so most of us, if it was then now, would be peasants or factory workers living in hovels.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
  9. Stroke the furry Wall

    WHY DO YOU CALL IT A JEFFREY?!!!!

    July 22, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick James B****

      lmao

      July 22, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • The One

      I'm gonna cover my house in this $h!t! It's gonna be a motherf-ckin werewolf!

      July 22, 2011 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
  10. Al

    Sure, it is because of doctors like this Howard Markel that the US has the highest addiction rate in the world...
    go ahead, learn from poor menthally skilled doctors like Howard, and see drug abuse rocketing in all US sectors specially within the youngs... good job Mr Howard, keep your wrong and stupid assumptions about the creator of psychoanalysis, just to deny the fact that you and your colleagues know nothing and can do nothing to stop addictions (to even consuming) in the US...

    July 22, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mjh

    opinions are fair only if their nonjudgemental; lets be fair and not implicate past history mistakes thats why your allowed to voice your opinion because your brother; neighbor assumes you have a conscience privilages of free speech deserve respect

    July 22, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Dorian

      There's a conjunction they invented, back in the day, called "you're". It's a combination of "you" and "are" squeezed together to make one word that sounds remarkably like "your", as in, "you may want to cover up, your ignorance is showing".

      Please investigate its proper use, and apply it to your ramblings in the future.

      July 24, 2011 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
    • geoz

      And another whereby "they" and "are" are merged to form "they're". It is a wonderful word to incorporate! But one must be careful to differentiate it from "their."

      July 25, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • mrgrammar

      There is also another nice piece of grammar called "there's" which is a combination of there and is. This is not to be confused with "they're" which would be a combination of they and are. Idiot.

      July 26, 2011 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
  12. Dr.Cartel

    Cocaine is perfectly fine for medical and recreational use, i recommend it! I am a doctor after all. See.

    July 22, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 12-21-12

      What about one of cocaine's small side effects: the thickening of blood in your arteries? No big deal?

      July 22, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      rofl dr?? ok.. im not a dr. im an old head. i recommend it for head change and for a little extra energy. just dont over do. nor do you think youre god.

      July 23, 2011 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
    • CalgarySandy

      As Keith Richard said to his son: Only use heroine recreationally. You have to be a strong, intelligent and emotionally stable person to do these kinds of drugs safely. Unlike weed, you just cannot do them often.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
  13. Capercorn

    After reading some of his ideas, I just wrote Freud off as a moron [as have most]. Now I learn of this for the first time. SO MUCH SENSE!

    July 22, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mailliam

    When anything makes you feel as good as cocaine – stay the "F" away from it. Cocaine eliminates all of the pain from life. Erases all of the low points. Without low points how can you know what a high point is? Heroin is the most insidious. People take it because they feel like sh-t. And for a long time it works. Then it stops working. But you have to keep taking it – not because you get high, or anything else out it – but so you don't feel like sh-t again. Here's my selling point. If you want to do these types of drugs, save yourself from arrest and imprisonment by just giving me your money in the first place. I won't give you any drugs – so when all of your money is gone and you still fell like sh-t at least you can't go to prison. Oh, oh. I can't do this either because this is called a ponzi scheme.

    July 22, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SANJOSEMIKE

      I enjoyed your post. I also requested that those who believed the world would end (you remember, "Family Radio" Judgement day?) do the same thing....give me their money.

      I can put it to better use. Just like you.

      July 22, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
  15. SANJOSEMIKE

    I object to any designation of Freud as a "genius." He was a self-absorbed, arrogant drug addict. His "theories" were B.S.

    They mean nothing. They are the "fantastic," useless ruminations of somebody who thinks they are more important than they actually are. Freud is no better than religion. Both are meaningless.

    sanjosemike

    July 22, 2011 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fungi

      Not bad for an arrogant idiot to develop psychoanalysis techniques; effects of which could be highly enduring (besides, just because the man suggested the closest to reality meanings of dreams vs. mysticism – one should not find that boring after all)

      February 26, 2012 at 01:15 | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      indeed you are ABSOLUTLY RIGHT ! Freud never as a genius. He was a very bad medecine doctor indeed. All he wanted was to be famous and rich. He accomplished that by lying again and again. You should read the famous book from the french philosopher " Michel ONFRAY". wrote in 2010 I think. It provides all the evidences freud was a fraud. It guess it's available in english. its called : "Le Crépuscule d’une idole. L'Affabulation freudienne. (2010) Grasset (ISBN 2-246-76931-0)" .After that psychanalysts who act like crazy radical religious blamed him. So he wrote a second book. "Apostille au Crépuscule. Pour une psychanalyse non freudienne, (2010) Grasset (ISBN 2-246-75781-9)" . if you need to know the real true story, unbias biography of Freud that's the only book you have to read. I was crazy about Freud when I was 15. I had read almost all his work. then I read about what happened to Adler , that I know consider much more intelligent than Freud and finally read the Onfray book. I now know Freud for who he was and not what the psychanalyst want him to be. A guy you dont wanna be friend with.
      That book exist also in spanish. in German : Die Psychoanalyse wird entzaubert. but in english Im not sure.

      June 4, 2014 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
  16. 12-21-12

    Awwwwww, after reading all these comments, now I don't even wanna watch it!!

    July 22, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Guess Who

    A little cocaine never hurt anyone.

    July 22, 2011 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • riprap

      Yeah, the problem is all those addicts who only want a little more.

      July 23, 2011 at 06:48 | Report abuse |
    • qanerd

      Sure. Cocaine makes you a new man (and the new man wants some cocaine)

      July 24, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
  18. vladmir smirnof

    in soviet russia cocaine snorts you!

    July 22, 2011 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kolias

      shut it, moron!

      July 23, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Kolias

      shut it, moronic man!

      July 23, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • CalgarySandy

      Well, I think it is kinda funny.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  19. n

    It's called crack. It's GREAT! And it's so simple to make... all you need is some cocaine, and some baking powder; and I think I tasted egg and cinnamon. Whoever sells this stuff is gonna be RICH!!!

    July 23, 2011 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Ames

    The sad fact about cocaine is that it is harmless if your chewing the leaves. Gives a mild stimulant high like caffeine without the headache or sick stomach. Typical...when we adulterate what nature has given us to use we ruin it.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LarryC

    Freud also claimed to have cured his famous Wolfman, who continued analysis for another 60 years. He founded the quackery that we now call psychiatry. He also single-handedly ruined Twentieth Century theater. But... how about the rest of you guys?

    Doctors continue to over-medicate their patients. I have a friend who keeps telling me to get a hip replacement, because his was so successful. He recently had a seizure because the pain meds he never told me about (because of chronic pain years after the operation) were interacting with his SSRI's (dangerous meds with no provable clinical value for moderate depression and are yet prescribed).

    Here we have an online doctor who tells us that denial is the hallmark symptom of addiction. Let's see. A patient who isn't addicted would deny s/he is. A patient who is addicted would deny s/he is. So... everyone is addicted! Let's treat everyone!

    Doctors, throughout history, have killed far far more patients than they have helped. Although there are a few special areas in which they now have effective and heroic interventions, on average, their mortality record remains consistent.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rommel

    Those who say pure coke is not dangerous are not very informed. BTW, coke does NOT thicken the blood, it CONSTRICTS the arteries, including the CORONARY ARTERIES, scars the inner lining of the arterial lumen, can cause arrhythmias that can kill, causes paranoid delusions, feelings of grandeur, sleeplessness, and more. These effects have NOTHING to do with adulterants.

    Chewing the leaves as is done by the indigenous peoples of South America, is NOT the same as getting a concentrated form of the alkaloid that causes the high.

    Again, this has NOTHING to do with what the cut or adulterant is.

    Just a "LIttle Bit" can kill...especially for those with un-diagnosed heart disease!

    Grass? Jury is still out...some studies say it is safe, others say harmful.

    One does not NEED any of these drugs...I know...been there, done that. Time to grow up and deal with the world.

    Ames...you're not your And, it is NOT completely harmless...the powder is harmful even in pure form...the adulterants just make it more toxic, especially with BENZENE, ACETONE, and KEROSENE, being used to "clean" the product.

    DON'T DO IT!

    July 23, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rowan48

    funny mine arent being posted....

    July 23, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Dorian

      The blog has a grammar checker; if it detects an idiot, it deletes the comment. Unfortunately, this grammar checker is only effective ~1.283% of the time. For example, this comment made it through just fine.

      July 24, 2011 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
  24. Terry Brookman

    Easy to get plenty of patients and become well known when every time someone feels down you give them a shot of cocaine and you do it all the time too. The man was a fool with a following and those who practice his voodoo are just a nuts.

    July 23, 2011 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Terry Brookman

    Mantis Tobogan
    You are a uninformed idiot I have had pure pharmaceutical cocaine and as good as it can make you feel it is poison all of it. I can tell you would be dead before you got thou with one bottle of it.

    July 23, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Kolias

    Freud have used coke regularly and smoked a dozen cigars a day, yet he lived till 83 and even then would not die without outside help. Not bad! Sanjay who? Gupta famous for what? Pleeeze, yet another "brilliant" indian "doctor" parroting Wikipedia.

    July 23, 2011 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • penny

      Dr. Gupta .. born in USA ... if not ... so what ?

      July 23, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  27. susan

    I consider myself to be educated, but I did not know about Freud's cocaine problem.
    Perhaps that is why his theories are tainted by leanings toward paranoia?

    July 23, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      I am sure his addiction distorted reality. He was known to say that he did not know what women want. Well, he only treated upper class women with what we now believe was clinical depression. So how much did he know about anything? Not much.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • shelley

      I did not know this but now everything is falling into place of why Carl Jung left him and his "ideas" behind. In those days laudeum was used as a medicinal home mainstay. Cocaine was in lots of items available to the public history is now showing that drugs were always a part of the mainstream Edgar Allan Poe, Byron, Sir Arthur Doyle, Mary Shelley and the list goes on.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse |
  28. plook

    Anyone who does not know that Freud was a coke head is completely void of any historical understanding. Then again, other posters have pointed out the complete vacuousness of geographical knowledge of the majority of the fellow posters as proof that true understanding of knowledge, history and the world in general is testament to this void. Fortunately, the few who understand the sentences above will prosper, the others will scream in CAPS that they are truly literate and just too young. SAD SAD SAD

    July 23, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • God

      Ego much?

      July 24, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • Thia

      "Anyone who does not know that Freud was a coke head is completely void of any historical understanding"

      Untrue. Someone who didn't know that Freud used cocaine is void of the progression and evolution – or "historical understanding" – of the field of psychology.

      July 24, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • John Dorian

      @God - LOL!

      I'm assuming you were referencing the following: "Narcissistic personality disorder" or "God complex". If so, you're awesome, and your comment is an epic win (not that I have the authority to make such a declaration, just sayin').

      July 24, 2011 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • Paolo

      You, my friend, are a complete 1diot.

      July 25, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  29. brad1001

    He certainly had it going on with some of his work. but the dude was hung up on coke and weiner.

    July 23, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. jayman419

    If recreational drug use was decriminalized, addicts would have to make their purchases in the harsh light of day, weakening denial, defusing the "me against the world" mentality, and allowing friends, loved ones, and family to offer help sooner and more effectively.

    July 24, 2011 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rhymeskeema

    Everything in it's right place

    July 24, 2011 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Indydoc90

    Marijuana is NOT safe. It clearly damages brain cells. Brain SPECT scans show areas of dead brain in marijuana smokers.
    http://www.amenclinics.com/amenclinics/brain-science/spect-image-gallery/spect-atlas/images-of-alcohol-and-drug-abuse/
    The damage done is easy to see. Do not believe the lie that marijuana is safe.

    July 24, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. aride

    Wow,an article that has gotten all of us thinking,not bad, we just all want to get away from everyday life something. it Would be great if we all could just jump on a plane, boat to take a real trip to explore what life really has to offer, all the wonders of the world for all to see. Now that would be a trip everyone would enjoy

    July 24, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Cleo

    magick727

    Your complaint is just about as narcissistic as it comes. You assume if you know something, everyone knows something, even the youth who were not around when you learned it. Yes, you are getting old.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. psych101

    This article is a completely undermines a man who revolutionized the way we as humans think about ourselves and about our relationships. Way to belittle a genius. Coke problem or not – the man changed medicine.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. jim

    And did you also know that William Halsted, the virtual "father of modern surgery" and one of the most famous medical pioneers of all times, was a hopeless morphine addict? And yet continued to function.
    Sort of dispels our traditional view of the "addict", as a disheveled homeless person shooting up in back alleys. Addiction is a disease that can strike anyone, anywhere, any time.

    July 24, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • yeah

      he also did cocaine haha

      July 25, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
  37. N H T K -12

    There are many disturbing facts about that Freud man. But what's even more disturbing , that almost whole Western culture esteems him as a father of modern psychology! It's no wonder that West is sinking deep in mire of decay and it's cultures disintegrating !!! That man's distructive influence is only equal to the one of Darwins! They should bring out much more secrets out of those two men..... There are many more of them that show the true nature of them!

    July 24, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. steph

    wow i never realized how many in-denial addicts read cnn news articles...most of the ones i see are just intubated laying in their icu beds...drug addicts die far more young than the non addict on average...thats just reality. has nothing to do with drugs being regulated or not or "big pharmacy"wanting a piece of the action. there sure are alot of conspiracy
    theorists on here...maybe its all the drugs

    July 24, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Ann Rock

    The Clements Library (clements.umich.edu) looked great in the background of the Howard Markel video. A beautiful library for the study of early American history.

    July 24, 2011 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. R

    If you wanna hang out you've got to take her out, cocaine.

    July 24, 2011 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dr David Hartman

    This has long been known. In my book Neuropsychological Toxicology, 1995 I note that Freud's first book the Project for a Scientific Psychology, was written during his period of cocaine intoxication; The prose is just short of incomprehensible, suggesting that Freud's thinking was tending toward a manic style under the influence of cocaine.

    July 25, 2011 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. QuickThought

    Doesn't it seem weird to anybody that nobody connects the Cocaine use WITH Freud's discoveries? I'm not an advocate of lifelong drug use and even have family members who suffer from addiction issues, but I think it's completely reasonable to consider that Freud may not have developed some of his beliefs, teachings, and methodologies practiced today WITHOUT the use of cocaine. Of course, there's no way to prove this. But common sense says that if a person were on a substance for over a decade that affected their thoughts, and that person wrote volumes of those thoughts during that period, then those thoughts would have to be - at the very least - related to the drug use. I think we as people like simpler answers. We have trouble including "bad" elements like drugs into "good" elements like the discovery of psychoanalysis. We're much more comfortable separating the two. Sure, we can all agree that chronic cocaine use for most people would be dangerous, devastating, and just plain stupid. But isn't it interesting to consider that in Freud's particular case, his chronic drug use may have gone on to help hundreds of thousands years later through his teachings? (That is if you believe his teachings are actually helpful - which is another post entirely!).

    July 25, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. anaeliss

    This is not old fashioned cocaine these idiots using today. That was the real stuff and only few selected used it. Today, this cocaine mixed with everything including you BM movement and toilet bowl water, no wonder its killing people. The original doctors that started Johns-Hopkins hospital was experimenting with it also. Maybe certain drugs better stayed in the doctors domains and not on the street.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. skier rick

    Yet in Columbia, people chew coca leaves, have for centuries and seem to be none the worse! Go figure! This is nothing but another ad for treatment by a higher-power to overcome addictions, which have risen to the rank of abnormal behavior, when in fact addictions are normal human behaviors, stigmatized to benefit treatment by non-existant higher-powers. What a scam.

    July 26, 2011 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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  48. sophialeigh

    he was not a neurologist – very lazy, Gupta

    June 3, 2013 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. steve castleman

    Most of the problems associated with drug use, cocaine included, stem from addiction.

    Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease. It's treatable. Perhaps not as successfully as one might like, but on a par with other chronic diseases that require substantial behavioral change, like diabetes and hypertension.

    Unfortunately, many people still don't believe addiction is a disease. That's why science-based education is so important.

    For a not-for-profit website that discusses the science of substance use and abuse in accessible English (how alcohol and drugs work in the brain; how addiction develops; why addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease; what parts of the brain malfunction as a result of substance abuse; how that malfunction skews decision-making and motivation, resulting in addict behaviors; why some get addicted while others don't; how treatment works; how well treatment works; why relapse is common; what family and friends can do; etc.) please click on http://www.AddictScience.com.

    June 4, 2013 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. j

    God I love Cocaine sooooo much, hence why Ive been sober for 4 years.

    June 28, 2013 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.