Abuse of illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications is not limited to any nationality, age, gender, or status. It’s quite possible that a famous artist or a popular actor abuses one or more of these like any affected common man. When it comes to exploring their wilder side, be it for creative experimentation or as a means to relax, even some of the most popular figures weren’t able to stay away from the dark gloomy world of drugs.
However nifty they might have appeared in their personal capacity and in their respective fields, many of the towering figures from history dabbled in substances of choice and remained addicted for a long. Here, we take a look at some of those doyens from various fields, who too had their share of struggle owing to their addictions:
Charles Dickens: A name tied to some great classics, like A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, and Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens was addicted to opium and would often indulge in waterpipe smoking (hookah) after a long tiring day. His death due to a stroke is attributed to his addiction to opium. Sigmund Freud: He was a great proponent of cocaine and was a voracious user of the substance. He saw great value in cocaine as an anesthetic and himself used it for his own problems with migraine and depression. It was under the influence of cocaine he delineated psychoanalytic theory, which had gone on to become the premise of modern psychological medicine. Stephen King: Definitely one of the most prolific writers of our times, Stephen King too has had his share of substance abuse problem until his family intervened and helped him attain sobriety. His recipe was a mixture of cocaine, Xanax, Valium, Nyquil, beer, tobacco, and marijuana, a highly addictive concoction which often drove him to the edge. He does not even remember some of his writings done in a state of intoxication. Ernest Hemingway: Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway was one of America’s well-known writers during the early to mid-twentieth century. His addiction to alcohol led to serious complications, even exacerbating a mental condition and he eventually took his own life. Winston Churchill: He smoked cigars and drank alcohol in access and took amphetamines to keep going and stay awake to plan strategies for the war. His substance abuse problem, coupled with a high stress life, led to stroke which consumed his life at the end. Vincent van Gogh: Apart from heavily into alcoholism, this famous Dutch painter was also addicted to absinthe, a highly addictive psychoactive drug. Besides, he also had serious mental health issues. In a state of inebriation Vincent Van Gogh had cut off his ears and eventually took his own life by shooting himself in the chest. Philip K. Dick: He wrote a lot of literature of which more than a dozen were his own account of paranoia, schizophrenia, and drug abuse that he struggled with. A genius whose books were turned into mega movies, like Total Recall, Minority Report, and Next, Philip K. Dick was heavily into drugs and abused substances like amphetamines. Many people attribute his exemplary writing skills to his substance abuse habits, which eventually led to his poor health and untimely demise. Edgar Allan Poe: The contribution of Edgar Allan Poe to the American romantic revolution is not anybody’s guess. His beautiful and lilting poems and prose are a great contribution to the American literature. But he too suffered from alcohol dependency. His death, however, would always remain shrouded in mystery.