Cocaine users

Stephen King

From 1979-1987, the horror novelist was addicted to cocaine, describing it as his "on switch" and cannot remember a couple of books he wrote during this period. King claims it saved him from alcoholism and an early grave: "without coke I'd have gone on drinking until about the age of 55 and it would have been a couple of lines in the New York Times: 'Writer Stephen King dies of stroke.'

Sigmund Freud

Wrote effervescently of the "exhilaration and lasting euphoria" and its "stimulative effect on the genitalia". Even penned a (now hard-to-find) essay, 'UberCoca,' extolling its virtues. " Changed his mind about the substance when a patient friend of his died of an overdose.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Wrote Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde in six days and nights on a cocaine binge. "That an invalid in my husband's condition of health should have been able to perform the manual labour alone of putting 60,000 words on paper in six days, seems almost incredible," said his astonished wife, Fanny.

Sherlock Holmes

"Sherlock Holmes took his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle, and rolled back his left shirt cuff...the sinewy forearm and wrist, all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture-marks...sank back into the velvet lined armchair with a long sigh of satisfaction." The Sign Of Four.

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