Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

5 Genius Minds Who Dabbled in Drugs

For hundreds and thousands of years, human beings have experimented with drugs. Some people used illicit substances to celebrate the gods; some used drugs to “communicate” with the other side.

As time went on, people began using drugs for a quick creativity boost. As a matter of fact, two separate studies have shown that people with higher IQs are far more likely to use drugs than people with average IQs. Here’s a look at five men who not only transformed the course of history; each admittedly experimented with drugs along the way.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is known around the world for his work in the computer industry and for co-founding Microsoft. He’s also consistently ranked as being one of the wealthiest people in the world. And believe it or not, Gates admitted to taking LSD, a potent hallucinogen, in his “errant youth.”

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, an iconic American entrepreneur and inventor, co-founded Apple, Inc. That invention earned him a pretty impressive nickname: pioneer of the personal computer revolution. Though he became a prominent public figure and solidified a place in history, Jobs never shied away from speaking his mind or discussing his views on drugs. Jobs never hid the fact that he experimented with LSD in the 1960s. In fact, the computer genius went on record saying that his experimentation with the powerful hallucinogen was actually “one of the two or three most important things I have done in life.”

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist whose advanced thinking earned him a place in history. The “father of psychoanalysis” was fascinated by dream analysis and formulated the Oedipus complex. Freud also had a serious love for cocaine, describing it as his “wonder drug.”  In a letter written to his fiancée, Freud said: “I expect (cocaine) will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine… I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success.”

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan is without a doubt the most influential astrophysicist and cosmologist in history. Best known for his contributions to scientific research of extraterrestrial life, Sagan was also a chronic user of and advocate for marijuana. Sagan was openly critical of the laws against marijuana and believed everyone should have access to the herbal plant. He firmly believed THC heightened his experiences with music, food, and even sex. “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world,” said Sagan.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was a prolific inventor who introduced us to devices like the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the light bulb. Edison was also a huge fan of “Vin Mariani,” a Bordeaux wine treated with coca leaves. The active ingredient of this beverage was cocaine, which undoubtedly played a huge role in Edison’s chronic insomnia.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of drug abuse.

How to Find Help for Drug or Alcohol Misuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance misuse, help is available and recovery is possible. Professional addiction treatment can start anyone battling addiction on the path to a healthier life. To learn more about treatment options, contact a caring admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers (AAC) for free at . You can also check your insurance coverage online now.

Levels of Care in Addiction Treatment

Recommended Substance Misuse Rehabilitation-Related Articles

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.