The Freud Museum

Events Archive

19 May 2011
7pm

Authors Talk: Freud on Coke

David Cohen

The story of Freud’s cocaine episode and its influence on his most famous work - The Interpretation of Dreams.

Author, journalist and BAFTA nominated documentary film maker David Cohen, joins us to discuss his latest book, Freud on Coke.

Freud on Coke explores Freud’s use of the drug, its influence on his later thought, and the subsequent, complex relationship between psychology, psychiatry, drugs and culture. Situating Freud’s cocaine experiments in a tradition of introspective research by legendary drug users such as Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary and Alexander Shulgin, Cohen makes a powerful case for radical reform both to the present drug laws and the testing procedures used on new pharmaceuticals. A comprehensive study of drugs on both sides of the law, this is an essential edition to the literature on both drugs and psychoanalysis.

Proposed as a cure for ailments ranging from gastric catarrh to female nymphomania, cocaine was, at the time, thought to be harmless. Like many scientists of the period, Freud decided to test the drug personally to study its effects. Prone to depression, a work alcoholic and sexually frustrated, he was hoping to find a medicinal use for the drug that would be hailed as a great discovery...

'...his writing is passionate, sometimes wry, and always gripping.'

The Independent on David Cohen’s The Escape of Sigmund Freud.

 

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