U.S. History

"An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine"

Howard Markel

About the Program

Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, recounts the cocaine use of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis and William Halsted, an early innovator in the field of modern surgery.  The author reports that both men began experimenting with the drug for medicinal uses, Freud as an alternative to morphine and a treatment for depression and Halsted as an anesthetic.  Mr. Markel examines each man’s introduction to and use of the drug and their respective addictions to cocaine, whose danger they were unaware of at the time.  Howard Markel speaks at Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
 

About the Authors

Howard Markel

Howard Markel is the author of When Germs Travel and Quarantine!.  He is a history of medicine professor as well as the director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.  Mr. Markel's writing has appeared in several publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine and The New York Times.  For more information, visit howardmarkel.com.


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Program Information

"An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine"

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Past Airings

  • Sunday, December 11th at 4:15am (ET)
  • Sunday, November 27th at 4:45pm (ET)
  • Sunday, November 27th at 7:30am (ET)
  • Saturday, November 26th at 11pm (ET)
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