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Observations placeholder

Eden, Anthony - Delusions paranoia and hallucinations from prescription medication



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


The first amphetamine pharmaceutical was Benzedrine, a brand which was used to treat a variety of conditions. Currently, pharmaceutical amphetamine is prescribed as racemic amphetamine, Adderall.

As we see in the main entry, Private papers uncovered in the Eden family archives provide a definitive answer, disclosing that he had been prescribed a powerful combination of amphetamines and barbiturates called drinamyl.


A description of the experience

Washington Post - SUBSTANCE ABUSE by Jerrold M. Post January 28, 1990

While the public image of Churchill's successor, Anthony Eden, was of a suave, urbane and self-contained man, in point of fact he was extremely high-strung with a noticeably nervous temperament. His 21 months in office were marked by a number of severe national and international crises including the Suez debacle. Especially under the stress of crisis, his leadership behavior was apparently degraded by prescribed medication and self-medication.

Eden had been troubled by gall bladder difficulties for many years. He was intermittently ill in office due to debilitating fever probably associated with that condition. There is reason to believe Eden became dependent on narcotics during a painful sustained bout of blockage of the biliary tract in the early 1950s. At this time he carried a box with him containing a variety of medicines including morphine.

But it was addiction to the powerful stimulant amphetamine which rendered this previously thoughtful and moderate statesman erratic and injudicious to the extreme and undoubtedly contributed to his disastrous leadership during the Suez debacle.

Sustaining himself on less than five hours of sleep a night, Eden has acknowledged that he "was practically living on Benzedrine" during the crisis.

Demonstrating signs of amphetamine intoxication, according to one witness he was "almost in a state of exaltation" during the period. According to another witness, he talked ceaselessly and was given to hysterical outbursts when Nasser's name was mentioned.

A concerned physician confided that "Anthony could not live on stimulants any more." Biographer William Manchester observed that the deleterious effects of the drug were not known at the time. "Years later medical scientists discovered that amphetamines could rob a sensible man of his good judgment, and this is what happened to Eden in 1956."

It appears that amphetamine abuse, which had spread to the general population in the 1960s, began in elite groups in the 1940s and '50s. "Celebrity doctors" may have played an important role in first establishing this pattern.

Dr. Max Jacobson, for example, had fled Hitler's Germany in 1936 and soon took up medical practice in New York City. Although he had no staff privileges at any hospital after 1946, during the 1950s he acquired a reputation as a doctor for celebrities, among whom he was known as "Doctor Feel-Good." Eddy Fisher, Truman Capote, Alan Jay Lerner, Otto Preminger, Emilio Pucci, Anthony Quinn, Tennessee Williams and Cecil B. DeMille were among his patients. He also became a physician to John F. Kennedy, and is depicted in an intimate family photograph in "John F. Kennedy: A Family Album."

The source of Jacobson's popularity with the famous appeared to be in part the energizing injections of amphetamines he gave them. (Usually amphetamines are given by mouth; by injection, their effects are especially powerful.) Several patients of Jacobson suffered from amphetamine poisoning while under his care. Mark Shaw, the photographer of "Family Album," died while under Jacobson's care. The official autopsy showed no major evidence of heart disease, but did report heavy residues of methamphetamine in Shaw's organs. Under questioning, members of Jacobson's staff admitted to buying quantities of amphetamines sufficient to give many large doses daily. In 1969 the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs seized all controlled substances in Jacobson's possession. Six years later Jacobson's license was revoked by the New York State Board of Regents.

……………. Among the initial effects of amphetamines which make it attractive to a leader in a crisis situation are an increase of alertness, lessened fatigue, feelings of well-being and lessened need for sleep. In a crisis, an individual "high" on stimulants may be insufficiently cautious or unduly optimistic. Compounding the felony, under sustained stress some will utilize serially stimulant and hypnotic drugs, producing a "high-low" sequence.

But with continued use, the feelings of well-being can mount to the point of euphoria, grandiosity and exaltation. Suspiciousness and irritability mount. There is a tendency to loss of emotional control and hyperactivity. Decisions are made without judicious consideration, in impulsive haste. Continued amphetamine use can lead to confusion about time and place, distractibility, vagueness, rambling speech, delusions of persecution, hallucinations and psychotic behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia.


The source of the experience

Eden, Anthony

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