Freud and cocaine HTML version

Indeed it could be argued that the psychoanalytical
community, in the form of Freud’s circle, was a family
of addicts and codependents. Freud was irritated by
friends who did not smoke and, according to Hans Sachs,
“consequently nearly all those who formed the inner
circles became more or less passionate cigar-smokers”
(164) (2).
As if to deny such an impossible connection, addiction was
placed outside the reach of psychoanalysis. Freud developed only
the most rudimentary theories on the subject and denied that
psychoanalysis could effectively treat addicts. Addiction, it
would seem, was the blind spot of psychoanalysis. According to
Freud, the cocaine episode was an “allotrion,” a break that
results when a coherent discourse is ruptured by a foreign idea
(Loose 8). Paralleling the expulsion of addiction, the earliest
dissident that Freud read out of the psychoanalytic movement was
a cocaine addict therapist named Otto Gross.
Looking back on his cocaine episode, Freud described it as
"a side interest, though it was a deep one" (Byck 255). He had
first become interested in the drug after reading a report of how
Dr. Theodore Aschenbrandt, a German army physician, issued it
experimentally to some Bavarian soldiers and it overcame fatigue.
He set himself the task of writing a complete history of the
drug--“I am occupied in collecting everything that has been