Top 10 Famous Writers Who Used Drugs
What are your favorite books? Why do you like them? Some books have something special and something strange. You possibly love a book because the author appears to be writing from some other dimension. Well, maybe he was.
Our culture is full of writers who tried to improve their imagination and skill by using mind-altering substances. These authors then had to battle writing crises at the same time that they battled their addictions. Drugs, alcohol, it does not matter. It is clear that a great number of literary masterpieces were written while their authors were on drugs. And not all of those writers decided to get treatment.
Regardless of the morality of health implications of taking drugs, we can all appreciate the great artistic results achieved with the help of illicit substances. Some writers were addicted, but that does not mean they were not talented or even geniuses. A blank page, a writer’s greatest fear, may have forced some to take drugs. Once addicted, not all found the strength to stop. Students may feel similar pressure when dealing with academic assignments. It is tough to deal with several assignments at the same time, and some may think that drugs are the best way to face the dreaded blank page. However, today’s students can visit Edubirdie instead of resorting to an illegal and dangerous cure.
While some writers ruined their brains, they also created fantastic beloved masterpieces. Their legacy is alive today, and we should not take their work for granted. So, let’s find out who of those most famous authors were addicted to drugs and tried to battle their addiction.
1. Charles Baudelaire
Living in a society that does not embrace liberation and freedom of choice and thought make it more difficult to deal with everyday struggles. Baudelaire was the kind of person we call a “white crow.” This famous French writer was considered a freak during his time and was a member of now legendary Hashish Club. Opium was the drug of choice for Baudelaire.
2. Jean Cocteau
The story of Jean Cocteau’s drug addiction started after the death of his long-time fellow and poet Raymond Radiguet. This French word master experimented a lot in his life; he tried different artistic genres (poetry, writing, filmmaking) he also experimented with medical supplies. Cocteau was another on of history’s famous victims of opium. The period of his drug addiction was dark and full of death themes.
3. Stephen King
King is the most prominent writer in our review, and he is well-known for his impressing speed of writing and productivity. By his own account, King became very familiar with stimulants, mainly coke. The author has stated that he was addicted for almost ten years.
4. Phillip K. Dick
Sci-fi is a great source of ideas. Some believe that you can get even more ideas if you push your imagination with stimulants. Philip K. Dick was extremely productive in the early 60s, mostly due to his addiction to drugs including speed and other turbo boosters.
5. Aldous Huxley
This author was extremely influential (Jim Morison is one of the artists inspired by Huxley), and well known to have been inspired by drugs. His famous book Doors of Perception is about breaking the boundaries of your mind and taking it to the other side with the help of medical supplies.
6. William S. Burroughs
Burroughs titled his book Junkie, and he was a junkie himself. Heroin is the heaviest drug on our list, and this writer was addicted to it for a long time. His addiction and its influence were described in his partly-autobiographical book, Naked Lunch.
7. Jack Kerouac
The era of beatniks was a golden time for drug addicts and Jack Kerouac. He described his addiction in the book called The Subterraneans. He wrote it just in three days, achieving such incredible speed while taking Benzedrine.
8. Robert Louis Stevenson
Six days. This was the amount of time this author took to write his famous 60,000-word masterpiece The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson did drugs throughout this time, resting only when the book was finished on the seventh day.
9. Ken Kesey
Few people know that Kesey’s famous masterpiece, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was a product of light drugs like LSD and marijuana. Another interesting fact is that Kesey participated in an experiment developed by government organization MKULTRA. Kesey was writing the book about social isolation while taking “medical remedies” for governmental experiment and living in a hospital for veterans.
10. Hunter S. Thompson
One of the most famous writers addicted to drugs on our list, Thompson took the whole writer vs. drugs experience to the next level. Famous for his criticism of the Nixon administration, Thompson also was open about his problems. Legendary Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the product of his crazy flirting with various substances.