[….] I call your attention to another evil that has recently made its appearance in Europe, that is, the use of cocaine by people who wish to drug themselves. In comparison to what the use of cocaine will do, particularly in damage to the human reproductive forces, alcohol is benign!
Those individuals who take cocaine do not hold cocaine responsible for the damage it does, but you can see from the external symptoms that its use is much worse than that of alcohol. When a person suffers from delirium tremens, it becomes manifest in a form of persecution complex. He sees mice everywhere that pursue him.
A cocaine user, however, imagines snakes emerging everywhere from his body. First, such a person seeks an escape through cocaine, and for a while he feels good inside, because it brings about a feeling of sensual pleasure. When he has not had any cocaine for some time, however, and he looks at himself, he sees snakes emerge everywhere from his body. Then he runs to have another dose of cocaine so that the snakes will leave him alone for a while. The fear he has of these snakes is much greater than the fear of mice that is experienced by an alcoholic suffering from delirium tremens.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness II: Lecture III – The Effects of Alcohol on Man – Dornach, January 8, 1923
Translated by Maria St. Goar