Home » Sensitive Subjects » In the original stories, Sherlock Holmes was addicted to cocaine. When the author, Conan Doyle, learned more about the dangers of cocaine, he wrote that Sherlock Holmes had quit cocaine by being gradually weaned off it by Watson.

In the original stories, Sherlock Holmes was addicted to cocaine. When the author, Conan Doyle, learned more about the dangers of cocaine, he wrote that Sherlock Holmes had quit cocaine by being gradually weaned off it by Watson.

A Seven-Percent Solution – Sherlock Homes and Cocaine

The notion that Sherlock Holmes could have been a cocaine addict seems absurd. However, even in A Study in Scarlet, the first work featuring Holmes, there were hints that Sherlock Holmes might have been using drugs.

” . . . for days on end he would lie upon the sofa in the sitting-room, hardly uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night. On these occasions I have noticed such a dreamy, vacant expression in his eyes, that I might have suspected him of being addicted to the use of some narcotic, had not the temperance and cleanliness of his whole life forbidden such a notion.”

Later it became quite clear that Sherlock Holmes was indeed using drugs. The Sign of Four opens with an alarming scene:

Sherlock Holmes took hi… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

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