Did you know the Father of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud advocated and used Cocaine to Cure Patients?

One of the most legendary and radical psychologist, Sigmund Freud whose 158th birth anniversary was celebrated recently on 6th May,developed several therapeutic techniques to cure his patients and delved into the subconscious and formulated many theories are popular even today. Initially a neurologist, this influential thinker from Pribor, Czech Republic, developed a method to treat mental illnesses which involves a dialogue between the patient and doctor. Interestingly, this method of treatment was initially referred to as “the talking cure” by his patient Anna .

People all over the world have heard about him and his theories making it very controversial owing to its erotic and radical nature. When searched, an endless number of articles and theories show up but what is really unique and not so known is the fact that Sigmund Freud was an occasional user and advocator of cocaine as a remedy to several problems.

During the days when the negative effects of cocaine were unknown to the world, it was often used as an analgesic and euphoric. It was even used in common household products such as soda pop and throat lozenges. Freud, who had developed an interest in cocaine’s potential antidepressant effects had initially advocated its use for a variety of purposes. In 1884, Freud published a paper on cocaine in which he claimed that it might be useful to treat low moods and morphine addiction.

In 1885, Freud experimented his theory practically on a friend to cure him from morphine addiction. Instead of being treated, his friend became addicted to cocaine and soon died in 1891. This damaged Freud’s reputation and he stopped advocating the use of cocaine. However, he himself continued using it for quite some time after that.

When we say that Freauf really loves cocaine, it means that is addiction was o suc an extend that he discussed it openly with his fiancé, and performed experiments centered on cocaine with himself as the subject. While that may be the greatest excuse for drug use ever, he also did write several papers on the wonders of this drug, touting its use in all sorts of things, including anesthesia. However, he did enjoy the high that the drug gave him, and definitely used it for more than just medicinal reasons. So was, Freud high throughout while developing his theories? Is that why some people find it so controversial and think of him as a perverted phony?

But the bigger question here arises that if cocaine, for once was to be forgotten as a Class A Drug, are there actually various benefits that one could use appropriately to solve various mental and physical ailments, if used in an appropriate quantity? Wouldn’t this be something the psychology and medical students should delve into?


Fun Fact: He was born as Sigismund Schlomo Freud, but later changed and shortened his first name to Sigmund.