Whether it’s leading countries, being part of a creative community or just wanting to experiment – at some point, some of the most famous names in history have tried or been addicted to drugs of some kind.

Here’s the round-up of the most brilliant minds in history and the drugs they were once addicted to.

1. Charles Dickens

In Dickens’ time, opium was common on the Victorian streets of London and it’s fairly safe to say that Dickens himself was a fan, even referencing the drug and provided a detailed first-hand description of the opium dens in his later, unfinished work The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Dickens used the drug in the form of laudanum for many years before dying of a stroke in the 1870s.

2. Vincent Van Gogh

Whilst cutting off his own ear was one of the wackiest things Van Gogh did, being addicted to the prescription drug Digitalis and strong spirit Absinthe can also be added to the list.

Initially using the substances to treat bipolar disorder, anxiety and temporal lobe epilepsy, he soon became addicted and the yellow spots affecting sight associated with both certainly explain a lot about his artwork.

Some people also believe that the use of lead-based paints also resulted in lead poisoning, further affecting his substance abuse and it was once noted by Dr Peyron that the famous artist once tried to commit suicide by swallowing paint or drinking kerosene.

3. Thomas Edison

Vin Mariani was invented in 1863 and was essentially a cocaine elixir. The wine was made from coca leaves and the ethanol content in the Bordeax could extract cocaine from these leaves exceeding 7mg per fluid ounce of wine.

During this period, it wasn’t uncommon to consume the wine that had been laced with cocaine and it became popular with the late Thomas Edison.

4. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs may have been a technological genius, but in the 1960s, he was also using LSD. He was also said to think that certain people around him who hadn’t tried recreational drugs just didn’t understand him.

5. Winston Churchill

Whilst not quite as wild as others on this list, Churchill is said to have taken amphetamines on a regular basis in order to be able to stay awake to plan strategies in World War II. Add this to his reputation for smoking cigars and drinking whiskey and it’s not hard to see how the previous UK Prime Minister died of a stroke in 1965.

6. Ernest Hemingway

If you’re familiar with Ernest Hemingway, it’s more than likely you’re aware of his alcohol problems. Although being one of America’s most famous authors and winning a Nobel Prize, Hemingway lost himself to alcohol consumption and turned to this after the lonely life of being a writer, apparently.

Sadly, the drinking worsened his depression and caused a great deal of confusion, resulting in him eventually taking his own life.

With drugs and alcohol overtaking some of the smartest, most creative minds in human history, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? Whilst a lot of these claims can’t actually be verified, it’s still interesting to learn about the hidden past of some of these famous historical figures.


  1. https://www.ranker.com

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. theo

    LSD is non-addictive. In fact, it can be used to help others break addictions to various substances.

  2. James

    Nice article but just want to say that you cant actually get addicted to LSD. Its literally impossible. Your body processes it so well that it builds up an immunity to the point where you could take it and not trip. So youre basically forced to not use it because it no longer has any effect because your body has built up to it and you could take 10 hits and youd still just be normal. Maybe feel a bit of a placebo. Your body needs time to let that go down before itll fully take effect again. And its not because of residual LSD in your system either because lsd is only in your system for a length of 24 hours max. So with all that said I justthought you should know it has no addictive properties and recent studies show that when administered properly it actually decreases desire/craving/addiction toawards mannnnny different things and is actually all around shown to have very positive effects. Has been shown to help with ptsd, depression, alcoholism (higher CURE rate than AA…. and by cure I mean full blown alcoholics that could after just have a beer or 2 once in a while and feel no desire to go on a bender) Has been shown to help with hospice patients, shown to help quit smoking cigarettes. I could keep listing but I think you get the point. Not saying run out and do all the lsd you can find but its not the nasty chemical the gvmnt and pharmaceutical companies have made it out to be.

  3. Robert Bloomquist

    300 Hawkeye Drive

  4. Lars Pedersen

    Steve jobs was not addicted to LSD.
    He tried it some times, but he was not addicted.

  5. genius

    some drugs make adiction, some not, like amphetamine, small chanse of adiction if u smell it, but next day u feel teribly. lsd or lsa, marihuana, extazy (lsa stronger than lsd) doesnt make u adicted, extazy after often long term use can put u in to depresion until some hormones will get back to ur body. allso if u use drugs, dont do to oftern, 1-2 times a week is max. if u smoke weed, u can use it 30 times a day if u handle it 🙂 but after longer use this way, ur memory may get dizzy 😀

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