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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 (239 Responses)
  1. Justin Cider

    When did Cocaine become a problem?

    July 22, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Barnacle Bill

      It's only a problem when you can't obtain decent, uncut merch.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • buzzy

      I think I feel a toothache coming on doc.
      Got anything for it?

      July 22, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  2. jimmymax

    Freud had an even bigger cigar problem that ate away half his face eventually.

    July 22, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RHinWI

      Least we mention his molestation of his daughter Anna.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • Majestic_Lizard

      He didn't molest his daughter. He treated her, which is now considered inappropriate. There were not a lot of other psychiatrists he could have taken her to see at the time.

      July 22, 2011 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  3. Ted Peters

    Freud had a much more serious addiction to tobacco... and ultimately had himself euthanized during the late stages of suffering from mouth cancer. Sometimes a cigar is more than just a cigar. In Freud's case, he never really worked on his own pre-oedipal fixations, which killed him.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julian

      Ha HA!

      July 22, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
    • gnodges

      Nice, Ted!

      July 22, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • Karna!!

      ahahha you sound so dumb fer saying that he was more addicted to F******* TOBACCO !!!! HAHAHAHHHAH OMG

      July 22, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      I always believed that Freud and his ideas and psychoanalysis in general are all frauds and loonies and psychobabble, but I never knew he was such a freakazoidal coke addict. What a nut. And people still take him seriously.... That's the real scary part. $$$ Millions every day are spent on useless, probably harmful "therapy" and then they give people wacky drugs on top of the therapy. Like this is good ?? Oh yeah....

      July 22, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Freud may have had a substance abuse problem, and somne of his ideas were definitely out there and some just plain wrong. But he did have some good ideas, and he's one of the major reasons why we have therapy today.

      July 22, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      HAHA? KARNA???? are you trying to day tobacco id not a drug? it isnt addicting? and it doesnt cause cancer?it is a drug , it is addicting and it did cause the cancer that eventually killed him. lol but we made cocaine illegal??!!! roflmao ironic isnt it?oh and yes im a smoker too.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
  4. Friend

    Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

    July 22, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. arthurrrr

    Freud was wrong about so many tnings, it's hard to believe that this nut was famous! except for be wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Barnacle Bill

      Obviously he was unable to reach illiterate morons like yourself.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Seraphim0

      Funny for you to say, really. Psychoanalysis and his theories, at the time, fit every problem that psychologists could run in to. Even with it's obvious metaphysical properties (such as Eros and Thanatos- very much akin to eastern Yang and Yin- respectively), the Id, Ego, and Super Ego components, along with the unconsious mind seemed to fit all problems they could find. Indeed, you will still find freudian psycholanalysts to this day who fully subscribe to his theory and swear by it.

      July 22, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      hey barnacle some of us are very literate tyvm. some of is have r.a. and m.s.. it tends to play havoc with our motor skills. my brain on the other hand is just fine. yours could use some work. if all you can comment on is someones grammar and mental status, rather than comment on the artice that was there to be commented on. it says alot about your small mindedness. sad really. perhaps it was you freud couldnt reach out and touch. not the victim of your petty insults.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
  6. willie

    Now we know why he wanted to hump his mother, too much nose candy...

    July 22, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • deb

      Oh my...LOL

      July 22, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • Softy

      He couldnt get it up anyway with all the blow he had done.

      July 22, 2011 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
  7. Joseph Elanga

    @Justin – when the moral jihadists of the religious right decided it should be within government's ambit to regulate an individual's substance use by declaring a "war on drugs."

    July 22, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rowan48

      amen!!! what isnt realized by the religious right is the fact that when they gained control over what you could and could not put into your body it took away ALL freedom. drugs are BAD. SO THEY TOOK THEM.. red meat, pork, salt, sugar and alot of the things we enjoy eating are BAD. already theyre putting warning labels on some food. how long before these things are " regulated" by the government? illegal unless youve got a paper from a dietician? hows that for a giggle? heres another one.without a warrant the government can hack your phone, home or mobile, hack your computer, listen to the conversations taking place IN your home from miles away, and WATCH you , in real time , from miles away. thought police anyone? i once read a book by orwell. i thought it was fiction. i dont think iit was fiction anymore. it was prophecy. and im not laughing any more.

      July 23, 2011 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  8. JLC

    Ironic that the film The Seven Percent Solution is about Freud helping Sherlock Holmes beat Holmes' addiction to cocaine!

    July 22, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DDJM

      thats not ironic, thats fiction

      July 22, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
  9. Barnacle Bill

    Thanks for playing the CNN comment game!

    July 22, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      I do this for my amusement not for CNN. I also play in threads that are legitimate sources of news and have way fewer trolls like you.

      July 23, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Freud's addictions were the least of his vices. His crackpot theories have spawned generations of misery for millions of people.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool that follows him?

      July 22, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  11. Silly

    I love "a cure for everything from morphine addiction and depression to dyspepsia and FATIGUE". um, yeah staying up for days = cure for fatigue

    July 22, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Teeph

      Just imagine all the wonderful things Dr. Freud would have to say about METH!!

      July 22, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
    • stoner

      Nope...that's crystal meth that keeps you up for days.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
  12. Lovely

    Didnt Clinton have a problem with cigars? Never mind. Freud was full of crap. I never believed in that mumbo jumbo bull anyway. Did you ever notice these head doctors are the weiderest. Alot weider than any of their patients.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • paganguy

      I only like female head-doctors.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • GaryO

      There are many reasons that draw a person to study psychology and go on to become psychologist, therapists, and psychiatrists (if they go on to med school). Some people really want to help others with problems, some want to get inside their own heads to come to terms with their own neuroses, anxieties, conflicts, etc., and sometimes, a combination of these and many other factors. It's the same with many professions that put one in a powerful position, doctors, clergy, politicians, etc. So many possible motivations for becoming anything. Some people become teachers, because they really love to reach a young mind and help it grow. Others become teachers to get a well-paying, secure job with 10 weeks off in the Summer.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      gary, i agree. it took my own personal issues for me to start getting introspective and learning about myself and psychology. without the issues, i probably wouldn't care. i think the same can go for people that become heart surgeons. maybe one of their close relatives had a heart attack or something, and they wanted to help others avoid that. there can also be multiple reasons for doing the same thing. psychology is interesting, but the rabbit hole can be deep.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • marktard

      youre an idiot. without freud modern psychology as we know it would be completely different. just because he overlooked the addictive nature of cocaine shouldnt undermine the rest of his significant contributions to his field

      July 22, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      alex what it takes to face your demons is guts. as far as im concerned where the guts come from doesnt matter. my own demons were huge and affected all facets of my life. what i did to face them, recognize therm for what they were and change my behaviour was well worth it.

      July 23, 2011 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  13. Jason's Gay Lover

    "hehehe...hehehe....hehehe....yeah...hehe...uhm...hehe...we're gonna score...hehe"

    July 22, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Butthead

      I'm gonna score, dumba$s.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • Cornholio

      Are you threatening me?

      July 22, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • Cornholio II

      Do not threaten the almighty Bunghole!

      July 22, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
  14. Minnesota88

    Drug addicition is a very thin line. I think Dr. Markel assumes too much about Freud's behavior and views it in the way we see "addiction" today which is very different than 100 years ago. Back then Freud probably didn't have to feed his addiciton in private like the author says because it was legal and there weren't as many socail stigmas as there are today.

    While some people have a clear problem with drug abuse, addiciton is not as clear cut as Dr. Markel makes it out to be. Only about 30% of people become "addicted"; most do not develop a problem. Cocaine abuse is a problem but we have only fed the fire in the beginning by making it illegal. Not to mention most all illciit drugs were made illegal for racial reasons...

    July 22, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JB

      Yep, agreed, especially when you consider the addiction scale which shows cocaine is only as addictive as alcohol whereas nicotine (legal) is more addictive than heroin.

      That being said if cocaine were legal and regulated like valium, there should still be less addicts than alcohol addicts whereas if heroin were legal, there would still be more nicotine addicts than heroin addicts.

      The world we live in is upside down

      July 22, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • bob

      JB, the world you live in will turn back up once you get sober.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      as they say, it's only a problem when it's a problem. sometimes, that means stripping you of something you once you had and took for granted. its' like anything in life, you gotta ask if the adv outweigh the disadv...sometimes that only happens when it becomes...well...a problem.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • JB

      unfortunately for you bob, I am sober. Haven't touched an illegal substance in years and just passed a drug test for a new job. I am also highly educated and successful. And yes, I am for drugs being regulated.
      I also think for myself and read history unlike yourself. Maybe you should take a visit to Europe and Canada and see first hand how succesful drug policies work. While you are at it, review historical footage of prison guard interviews in this country around the time prohibition of drugs stated. Once you were blind, but now you can see

      July 22, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Funny how you say you haven't touched an illegal substance in years.

      July 22, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      so what??? minnisota is reformed. id say out of necessity. drugs in your system , no job. no job , no food, no home.. what i do when im not working is MY business, not the governments. all the drug testing all the laws arer just more shackles for the slaves of this country. the middle class and the poor, and yes being poor is another way for the government to make money. they dont pay to help the poor! the working middle class do. and why doesnt the government want the hand outs stiopped?? if you stop that you stop the money from going into the govenments hands.people, to your government, your doctor, your mechanic even when you walk into wal mart you are not a person, your a $. even if you have no $.our laws of which we have to many, were made to make money for the government. even prisons are profitable for them. why else would they hold non violent offenders longer than they do pedophiles, rapists and murderers?

      July 23, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
  15. JB

    This article reads more like someone who has big Pharma lining his pockets rather than an objective article. While it is undisputable Freud had a cocaine addition, there is no evidence to support the beginning of the article that there was a cadre of raging addicts. The rate of addiction has stayed the same per population at 1%. And even then, they over estimated the rate of addiction to get the anti-narcotic laws passed since there was no real way to measure it. 1% is the agreed upon population rate today.
    And even if you say that is the case, all we have done is get the publics drugs taken away and replaced by far more addictive and dangerous drugs based off heroine and cocaine which still lends one to question why not just regulate those drugs rather than pay upcharge to pharma companies for more dangerous designer drugs based off those foundation drugs.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Minnesota88

      No crap! Big pharma is obviously against any drugs that can't be capped in a pill...

      July 22, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • bud

      Same with Big Pharma fighting marijuana decriminalization. No money in it for them when it works better than a $20 pill.

      July 22, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      you all have spoken like a bunch of pot heads. What drug works better then any pill? The problem with illegal drugs isn't the addicition level of them, it's people hallucinating and doing stupid crap on them, and yes there are some pain killers that might (emphasizer might) have that effect, but not like all (emphasize all) illegal drugs have. Get over yourselves and stopping doing your drugs

      July 22, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • Jb

      And you sound like a close minded stool pigeon. Why don't you get over yourself and quit using the governments drugs? What, you think millions if not billions of people throughout history are wrong? That the millions of people that choose to do illegal drugs just some how didn't get the message? Give me a break. Open up a history book and take your prescription meds and make both the government and big pharma happy you sell out

      July 22, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      hey guest did you know that the coca leaf was no more dangerous or addicting than a cup of coffee? it wasnt until humans with their wonderful technology brought it home and " purified " it that it became cocaine? so yes natural is better. usually not deadly and gets the job done. the history of drugs is very interesting. actually theres nothing new. its just been made more damgerous.

      July 23, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
  16. bud

    Do not rotate too quickly

    July 22, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. bud

    Now tell us about heroin being marketed by Bayer in the 1940s

    July 22, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trell

      are you serious?

      July 22, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • martin

      that was actually 1898,not 1940

      July 22, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Pumbaa

      I have read that Heroin is a better drug than morphine. It is faster acting for quicker relief of severe pain. It is supposed to cause more euphoria than morphine. It seems that it could never be kept out of the hands of drug addicts so it was forbidden for drug use in the USA. Cocaine however is still legal with a Rx from a licensed doctor if you could find one that would prescribe it.

      July 22, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  18. Jeff

    Freud was a pervert.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. dave

    How many Freudian analysts does it take to screw in a light bulb

    3 - one to hold the bulb and 2 to hold my mother - I mean the ladder, the ladder

    July 22, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Genius

    Only a "crazy" person could have invented psychoanalysis. Doesn't mean he was wrong about it though.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. SJB

    Sigmund Freud didn't get a bad rap until the U.S. feminist movement of the 60s to 70s decided he was a male chauvinist and began dismantling everything he wrote. The just couldn't handle the 'penis envy' bit, I'm afraid. If you read his works, it's very interesting and logical. This is
    what happens when feminists are allowed to tamper with history.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jdizzle1337

      Pre-med Psych Major here.

      I disagree that Freud has a "bad rap" in the modern psychological community. Many of his theories have been disproven, or proven not-provable and thus not testable science; but you cannot overlook Freud's major accomplishment to the field: the concept of a sub/un-conscious.

      Vehemently attacking Freud was popular like 50-60yrs ago, but now he is recognized for what he was; a pioneer from 120yrs ago in a field that is only about 140yrs old. Not everything he said was right, but then again no scientist from 120yrs ago was right about everything he said, nor is the point of science to be "right".

      The article was weakly argued, some may notice some unsupported claims about drug use; but remember a Dr of Medical History wrote it so we have to assume extensive background knowledge of the addiction process and this is for entertainment its not an academic article.

      July 22, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
  22. Moe Green

    Sometimes a Kilo of Coke is just a Kilo of Coke...

    July 22, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Richard

    It's obvious why Jung split from his mentor to move on and develop a more sensible approach to psychotherapy based on dreams and personalities. Jung is light years more advanced than Freud ever was when it comes to figuring out why we act the way we do, but never received his appropriate notoriety, maybe that was a good thing.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buzzy

      Let's see..Jung brought us such time tested theories as 'Synchronicity'?

      Yeah. So much better of a fantasy.

      July 22, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • TheLeftCoast

      Definitely! Jung's best work was developed after he split from Freud, and is still used and capitalized on today! He and William James are the granddaddies of Transpersonal Psychology!

      July 22, 2011 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  24. ThereYaGo

    I never did enjoy doing cocaine. I just liked the smell of it. 😉

    July 22, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. olen

    This article was so poorly written and referenced – as well as being completely moralizing – that it doesn't seem real. It's like a junior high creative writing project and cannot be taken seriously.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mrmailman

    THIS IS WHY THE DRUG WAR WILL NEVER END......THE UNITED STATES PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES HAVE TO MUCH INVESTED IN LITTLE BROWN MEN BRINGING IN THE INGREDIENTS ......TURN THEM INTO LITTLE TINY PILL'S TO DISTRIBUTE TO THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS......LOL

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F01eO2GTbQg&w=640&h=390]

    July 22, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. herb666

    Freud started using cocaine in his 20's and lived to be 89. His friend, Fleischl-Marxow, was in his late 30's when he started using and died at 45. So does this mean if you start too old you'll die young but if you start young you'll live into your 80's?

    July 22, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. dfadfsdfsadf

    and now 100 years later they give the legal version of cocaine (Adderall) to kids who have "ADD". at least drug dealers don't try to peddle their crap to first graders like the pharmaceutical companies do

    July 22, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Zartan X

    DRUGS!!!!!!

    July 22, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Brian

    Keep in mind, Freud worked in Vienna, the same place where Adolph Hitler grew up. Vienna was full of messy people at the time. Some biographers think that is why Freud was able to form his theories about abnormal psychology.

    July 22, 2011 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Charles Gilman

    Gupta, you sound like an idiot; the most maddening symptom of addiction is convincing oneself nothing is wrong? Really? What about, I don't know, turning tricks for drugs? That's a pretty bad one. Or maybe stealing from, injuring, or even murdering family members for the ends? Sounds worse than simple denial. Moron.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buzzy

      Chuck (The Idiot):
      The denial comes first and leads to those other difficulties. In fact it is the worst symptom. In fact, the others are symptoms at all. Learn to read and differentiate. It was a good article...MORON!

      July 22, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  32. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Have you just climbed out from under a rock? Yes, Freud had a drug problem, but so have other famous people. Byrum, Shelley and Keats also used drugs and even produced some woderful pieces of work under drugs! America is hooked with drugs today and the drug company's are helping continue this problem in this country.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • buzzy

      ...and Hendrix, and Joplin, and Cobain, and ......

      July 22, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      amen and thank you john!!! it seems that people have forgotten the actual meaning of " altered conciouness" we all need it occasiomally. some find it thru religion, some thru exercise. the fact is it can come from all sorts of places. lol i wonder what the government will do when they realize what an endorphn " high" can actually do for your head?the fact is ANYTHING used to the excess can cause damage or death. even aspirin. slowly but surely the government and people in power( ones with money) are taking every right we have and making us no more than slaves. for our own safety of course. im begining to wonder if this so called safety is worth it? after all i was under the impression this life and what i do with it was mine.

      July 23, 2011 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  33. CatfishMammy

    Oh child! I done tried da Debil's dandruf one time and it made my heart beat like a snare drum at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

    July 22, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. wendy5

    my husbands son managed to get himself addict to oxy now is on a methadone drug run by the government via the pharma company he thinks he is frued also knows it all just a joke

    July 22, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mitch

    That is something I didn't learn In Psychology...

    July 22, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. someoneelse

    Neuro-scientists will one day look back on psychology the same way chemists regard alchemy.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • willie

      cocaine is more valuable than gold so just perhaps, Freud did find the philosophers stone...

      July 22, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
  37. Tracy

    Most interesting article I've read in awhile. Thanks for sharing, CNN.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. cpc65

    This is interesting in that in the story The Seven Percent Solution it is Freud who helps Sherlock Holmes overcome his addition to the drug.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Belingo

    "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."

    This is the most interesting excerpt for me. It shows how addiction, even as severe as opiate addiction, does not necessarily have to lead to dramatic and destructive consequences. If it does, this in – in part – courtesy of the great "War on Drugs". Naturally, addiction is terrible and requires treatment, but there are better ways to go about that then making people turn into criminals because they suffer from substance abuse disorder.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pumbaa

      One problem Freud never had was worrying about some DEA agent kicking his door down and arresting him for having an illegal drug.

      July 22, 2011 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
  40. DARTH VADER

    psychoanalysis psychiatry psychology

    none of these are sciences.

    they are all BS

    FREUD WAS THE ORIGINAL SCARFACE

    July 22, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dr. Tom Leandros

    BOO to you Dr. Gupta! So easy to look back from the comfort of the 21st century and lay your disdain on others. Cocaine is FABULOUS! I am a surgeon and I can tel you that my best surgeries have taken place when I was on it. Cocaine sharpens the senses, tightens the nerves, suddenly the mind and the body think as one...but better. Its like God pointed his finger and said,,, YOU are now ME,,,,HEAL those on the table before you. And you take the scalpel and you take the body and suddenly they are joined and the body is made whole. I tell you what Dr. Gupta, you find me one of my ex patients that I did surgery on that would rather be dead than healed....no matter what I was on.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr.A.S.

      Your a doctor and use cocaine while at work ? I do not believe you are a doctor.If so you are showing typical signs of grandiose thinking.Either way you frightening me.

      July 22, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • wuroye

      You must have been high when you wrote this.

      July 22, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • wuroye

      Dr. Gupta brings his body and mind together without using cocaine. I don't want to teach you about the Indian philosophy
      of becoming eternally whole. Understandably, drugs liberate you from stress and depression and sharpen your mind temporarily. It, however, comes with a big price. It drops you to a low point shortly after it makes you high. That is why the greatest people on earth whose ingenuity was fueled by drug ended up in a mess.

      July 22, 2011 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • MannyHM

      Dr. Halsted the famous surgeon was the one who introduced radical mastectomy while he was addicted to drugs. Avoid surgeons whose behavior is erratic, they maybe on drugs.

      July 22, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      dr tom unlike others i can believe you. what ive learned is that all comments get posted. lol 2 of mine in favor of drugs did not.frued used cocaine to face thi things in the basement of our minds we refuse to see. many great works af art and poetry were sritten while the artist was using opiates. we dont want to see this either.we laughed a bit when the gov. started to make drugs illegal? in the land of the free? well its done. we learned from prohibition one thing,make something illegal and you get gangs, murder in the streets, bodies of the innocents and gutters of blood. whet we have now.amd we learned we ARE NOT FREE.. NOW IVE GOT ANOTHER GIGGLE. drugs are :bad: hence illegal. red meat, pork salt sugar and alot of the things we enjoy eating are : bad: how long before we get the food police? as of now the gov. can legally hack into you phones, your computers, listen to conversations in your home from miles away,and watch you from miles away in real time. thought police anyone? everyone giggling now? all for our safety of course.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      please forgive the typos, my m.s. and arthritis are in contol today.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
  42. flossmore

    This drug today is....maybe.....15% pure...all of the rest is just cut!

    July 22, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr.A.S.

      It is relatively easy for anyone to turn that small amount into the pure stuff to smoke it.That is what I am afraid of for abuse and the ones who do convert it the 1st time,snort it and die because it is so pure.

      July 22, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • rowan48

      lol if cocaine were not cut today most of the obits would read overdose. for the poof people of couse. the rich call it after a sudden illness or a unkmown heart defect. aint money lovely.??? oh and if you have money? the cut is better. cocaine isnt my drug of choice, but i love to read. and know people who are not "normal" untill theyve had that first snort or toke of the day. by normal i mean they can pull off acting like the cookie cutter people.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
  43. DocMad

    Freud was a degenerate a****le. Everyone has known that for quite a while now.

    July 22, 2011 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Dr.A.S.

    It`s sad those who do not realize just what cocaine will eventually do to every user if they get enough, even a few times a week over a period of time.The brain stops making dopamine almost completely.Dopamine is the only reason we feel good at all.Without it even with cocaine you will no loner ever be able to feel anything except terrible depression as bad as it can ever get.Cocaine is no plaything drug.The high is short lived & the sellers charge so much to the average person hoping they can never reach the point of no return, which does not take very much.This is one bad drug people.You may think you can stop , but soon you actually do not care anymore if you can afford it or not ,because it becomes the ONLY thing that can make you feel normal again in amounts needed.I would advise people to smoke marijuana instead.Marijuana is pretty much an innocent substance & completely harmless in itself with a vaporizer.Just please do not drive on any self administered intoxicant of any nature whatsoever.

    July 22, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rowan48

      dr. isnt that what alot of the antidepressants do now? yet i dont sere them on your deadly list.

      /

      July 23, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  45. Guest

    So,a hundred years ago a cokehead could be a respected doctor,but today they treat people who smoke marijuana like murderers in some places.

    Sigmund Freud wanted to bang his mother,you know.

    July 22, 2011 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rowan48

      ok guest tell me this....youre saying pot is deadly now??? roflmao.

      July 23, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
  46. TheLeftCoast

    Although he made many important contributions to the early field of psychology, that guy had serious issues. Now I'm wondering if he was dual diagnosis.

    July 22, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. logikflux

    This is common knowledge for anyone that has ever taken Psych101, what's the big deal? Plenty of people used to take different drugs before they were demonized. Sears used to carry Heroine injection kits in their catalogs. Legalize, Tax, Grow/Manufacture your own, stop the endless war on drugs.

    July 22, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. It's my body

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////The only time I see someone quote Frued is when they want to prove their point. I may be wrong, it maybe that tobacco isn't illeagal is that too many "law makers" use it themselves, and they have their hands in lobbiest pockets. /////////////////////////////////////////

    July 22, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Ted Ward

    Fortunately, Freud doesn't occupy the same high pedestal he used to. Much of his thought has been tossed in the ashcan. Still he was a pioneer in his field...

    July 22, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sixoh

    Freud was a sick freak in general.

    July 22, 2011 at 18:50 | 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.