Some of the Most Intelligent People Can Be Addicted to Drugs
Lots of people associate creativity with addiction, and some of the history’s most intelligent people have had issues with drugs or alcohol. In some cases, their addiction took their lives. We all know about the young celebrities who let fame and fortune go to their head and ended up paying the price because of it. Young and attractive celebrities like River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, and Cory Monteith frequently make headlines because their lives were cut short.
The truth is that lots of famous people in history were addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction is not isolated to the most popular celebrities of an era. Some of the most intelligent people with incredible skill and passion have fallen victim to addiction. Below, we take a look at a few prominent ones.
Being a Genius Doesn’t Prevent Substance Abuse
Having high intelligence doesn’t make a person immune to addiction. The stigma that people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are below-average, uneducated, and unintelligent can be directly squashed by prominent examples in history of people with addictions of their own.
Some people believe that above-average intelligence can often compel people to drugs or alcohol because they are always looking for something more. Whether it is to enhance their creativity or allow them to stay awake for longer to complete projects; smart people can be addicted to drugs or alcohol for these types of reasons.
Eight of History’s Greatest Minds and Their Addictions
- Charles Dickens. The guy responsible for A Christmas Carol had one major vice: opium. By the time of his death at age 58 from a stroke, his self-inflicted damage was the culprit.
- Ernest Hemingway. The American novelist and short story writer had a major influence on 20-th century fiction and were a well-known adventurer. His downfall was his love for alcohol, which he was heavily into, especially later in life. Alcoholism is at least partially to blame for his suicide at the age of 61.
- Edgar Allan Poe. This writer, editor, and critic was well known for his dark and twisted tales of mystery. Strange circumstances surround his death at age 40. People believe his alcohol abuse was a likely cause. His alcoholism also contributed substantially to financial and personal problems he faced throughout life.
- Kurt Cobain. Cobain changed the face of music forever by bringing grunge music to the forefront of the industry. He struggled with heroin addiction for years, until at age 27 he shot himself after ingesting large amounts of heroin.
- Sigmund Freud. This Austrian was the founder of psychoanalysis. This practice known as therapy is popular, especially in addiction treatment. He also made huge steps forward for the industry of mental health. However, while doing so, he was often heavily consuming cocaine. He even went so far as to recommend using it for many conditions. He died at 83 from a terminal illness.
- Vincent Van Gogh. This painter had many health issues throughout his life. While his art is valuable today, people thought nothing of it while he was alive. He developed a problem with alcohol, namely absinthe; then shot himself in the chest at the age of 37.
- Stephen King. This enormously popular horror-story writer battled addiction throughout his life and ingested many different kinds of drugs throughout his run. From cocaine to Xanax and Nyquil to pot, he used these as crutches to get through the day. He also said he doesn’t even remember writing some of his own novels.
- Ulysses S. Grant. This American President came into power right behind Lincoln and brought with him a major drinking problem. His presidency served him well; his frequent binges got fewer and further between later in his presidency. He died of throat cancer at the age of 63.
Stop the Stigma
From this list, it is easy to see that even the most celebrated people struggle with addiction. This is why the stigma of addiction truly needs to end once and for all. Drugs and Alcohol can affect anyone no matter how smart they are. It doesn’t matter where they live, how much money they have, or how much education they have. Addiction simply doesn’t discriminate.
It’s a terrible shame when anyone falls prey to addiction. It is hard to see it happen to people who are extremely smart and have a very bright future. These eight were lucky enough to have time to leave a lasting impression on the world. If we recognize addiction and reduce the stigma, more people will get treatment; and, eventually, we will become a better society.