Über Coca, by Sigmund Freud

Most people know Sigmund Freud as the founder of psychoanalysis, as well as originating the idea of the role of the unconscious in conscious thought, and of course for “sometimes a cigar, is just a cigar.”  But were you also aware that Freud was one of the pioneers of research into the properties of cocaine?  His review on the properties of cocaine, published in 1884,is described as “the definitive description of the effects of cocaine in humans” (Dyke, 1981).  It’s amazing how few people actually know this.  The people in my own laboratory, which focuses on the study of stimulants, had no idea that Freud was one of the first to publish on it.  So I dug up his original 1884 publication (republished in 1984 in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment), and now I’m taking a whack at it, for the edification of anyone who wants to read it (I did a previous post on the modern pharmacology of cocaine, how it works, and the addiction process).  And besides, who doesn’t think cocaine is interesting? Continue reading