Before he thought of putting patients on the couch and interpreting their dreams, the young Sigmund Freud did a whole lot of coke amidst astonishing claims made by an American pharmaceutical company, Parker Davis, on behalf of their new 'wonder drug', cocaine hydrochloride. He tried it on patients with headaches, on practitioners of masturbation, on every depressive who came his way. Amazingly, he managed to overlook both the one legitimate use of cocaine - as a local anaesthetic - and the fact that its euphoric effect had medicinal value.
David Cohen is author of JR Books The Escape of Sigmund Freud (2010). Also biographer of JB Watson and Carl Rogers, his Diana: Death of a Goddess was a UK bestseller. A BAFTA-nominated documentary filmmaker, he was the first Western journalist to gain access to Soviet Psychiatric wards, resulting in the movie Gorbachev's Asylums. He was editor of the magazine PsychologyNews and holds a PhD in Psychology.