Sigmund Freud’s Scientific Cocaine Addiction

The first person to understand addiction within drugs

Andrei Tapalaga ✒️
Nov 8 · 5 min read
Sigmund Freud before the use of cocaine

In 1880 the use of Cocaine in medicine started to flourish however it was not well optimized yet. Many doctors and upcoming Scientist were trying to experiment with this ‘drug’ as they believed it had lots of potentials to cure various types of disease as well as depression, it is to bad that the scientists and doctors back in the day did not have any idea of the Placebo effect which was most noticeable around that period of time.

Sigmund Freud has seen a huge potential in this drug however, he did not have who to experiment on therefore he has experimented on himself. The difference here was that the Cocaine was not used as an ingredient for different medicine but, as the actual medicine itself. At the same time, Freud was working with a good friend of his Dr. Koller that was interested in his experiment, however, he gave him a slight warning as he felt this ‘medicine’ was stronger than expected.

Freud started small with only 5mg a day, at the time he was going through a period of mental depression and over time he felt that the drug was actually helping him very much with his depression. You could say that he has also discovered the first antidepressant medicine however, he had no idea how bad and powerful this drug is.

As the days went by Freud kept recording the way that the drug made him fill and behave. In his reports, he is mentioning that he felt more energetic and the need for sleep was becoming lesser and lesser to the point where he would sleep only 4 hours in a 24 hour day.

Drugs in the 18th century

It is imperative to acknowledge that the uses of drugs were much more common as the people did not know the causes it has and the medical complications it can bring to the human body. People were seeing drugs in a very different way back in the day from how drugs are seen today. There was no trafficking and no use to get high (as far as the records say).

You see as there was no trafficking of drugs because they were not intended for such purpose they were very easy to find and even sold at your local supply shop. Its cost was like normal medicine so not too expensive. A small bottle of cocaine was around 2 dollars at the time.

The terrible side effect

As it was to be discovered, Cocaine had many negative side effects however, Dr. Freud was about to discover the worst one that is around and the one that is destroying most people in today’s society. As Freud was going on with his daily dose of 5mg Cocaine, he started building a bit of resistance as he did not feel the energy that he felt at the start, therefore, he decided to increase the daily dosage to 10mg of Cocaine.

This really gave him a boost and has also built up insomnia however, he was happy with this as it gave him more time to work on different experiments. One day he ran out of Cocaine and the next delivery he would receive was in 2 days so he was sad that he would have to pause his experiment. The first day without Cocaine he felt ok however quite sluggish as he did not have his daily dose of the boost to which his organism has become used to.

Antique pharmacy in which cocaine was sold

The worst thing you can do to a drug addict is cut off his dosage at once. This will dimish the body and there is a chance of even death. This is because the body is used to the dosage and it needs it as the blood cells get used to the drug and the extra pressure it creates. If you were to stop the dosage there is a possibility for the heart to slow down to the point where it is not able to pump enough blood to reach the brain.

The second day Freud was feeling terrible, he barely had any energy to write his reports. He was very repulsive of everything and vomiting has caused him severe dehydration.

The third day Dr. Koller has come to the rescue with the Cocaine, even if as a friend he did not want to offer him any more Freud insisted for a double dosage of 20mg Cocaine. If this may seem as much well it is not, a study that was done in 2018 at a drug rehab clinic shows that addicts can even tolerate up to 5 grams of Cocaine a day. He immediately started to feel better, as the days went by he tried to figure out what has happened in those 2 days. He has discovered the worst effect of drugs which is an addiction.

This was truly the first time that people have started to actually take notices of the bad side effect of using drugs. In the case of Freud, it was not only physical side effects but also mental. However, the huge overdose does go to show that drug addiction cannot be cured by other drugs or medicine.

Dr. Karl Koller before the second World War

Discovering drug addiction

He was now addicted to this drug and even has built up a bit of a tolerance. With the help of Dr. Koller, he has managed to stop his addiction by lowering the dosage. Freud’s body was also damaged because of the constant high boost of blood pressure now his heart was having trouble pumping blood, this is quite amusing as cocaine was even used as medicine for people with low blood pressure.

The reason as to why some people still mention drugs in the meaning of medicine is because of class b and above drugs of today where the unhealthy medicine of yesterday. The primary reason is not that they are bad for your health but because of the addiction, they produce as proven by Freud.

Sadly, Sigmund Freud has returned to the use of cocaine later on in his life for different experiments he has stated, the second time the addiction has proven to be lethal. He has died on 23rd of September 1939 from experimenting with a high overdose of cocaine.

This was a major step that was taken to stop the use of cocaine in past medicine. Cocaine is still used today in very strong medicine that keeps the heart alive however it comes in very small dosages and it is only administrated twice a year. If we use drugs for medical purposes in small doses it will not harm us, what harms people from drug use is their addiction which leads to a deadly overdose just as Sigmund Freud has proven.

History of Yesterday

From the times that the pyramids were raised to the end of the cold war in this publication you will find it all. This is a publication that has been created to tell the stories of forgotten battles and fortunes that have crafted the world that we live in today.

Andrei Tapalaga ✒️

Written by

Avid Writer with invaluable knowledge in Business Studies, History and Psychology. “You make your own life” atapalaga97@gmail.com /University of Surrey

History of Yesterday

From the times that the pyramids were raised to the end of the cold war in this publication you will find it all. This is a publication that has been created to tell the stories of forgotten battles and fortunes that have crafted the world that we live in today.

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