Are Sherlock's addictions good for his mental condition? I noticed he avoids alcohol (rarely drinks), but used to smoke (still does, on occasion) and does / did drugs. As if drugs and cigarettes helped him to be "smarter/ better, etc", so this is why he decided to choose them (among other addictions).

  • Why else would he take them? Are they good for him...of course not. I'm not clear on what you are asking.
    – Paulie_D
    Sep 5, 2018 at 20:33
  • He is just bored
    – Vishwa
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:11
  • Because in the Victorian era when Sherlock Holmes was created drug use was legal and common, even Queen Victoria herself used cocaine.
    – Sarriesfan
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:24
  • One would assume that Sherlock's addictions are to the addictive substances which he used often enough to get addicted to. So basically, Sherlock, like many other people, chose some dangerous substances to try while assuming that he was too smart to become addicted to them, and then those substances chose him to be an addict, so to speak. I note that many people start using tobacco, which though legal is extremely addictive, when they are foolish preteen children and become addicted to it as children, and Holmes could be one of them. Sep 6, 2018 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


"What do you get for the man who has everything?"

This is frequently said of those whose wealth prohibits his friends from buying gifts.

Holmes' wealth is sheer intelligence. A man with boundless money could go mad because acquiring possessions only fleetingly will make him happy. Holmes, on the other hand, is left a prisoner to the musings of his mind.

It's understandable that he would rarely take a drink; alcohol is a depressant, and leaves a man tired and thinking slow. Nicotine on the other hand is a stimulant. This would get his mind racing to places he might not otherwise. And opium is ratcheting the high to highest levels, causing euphoria and hallucinations. These are the vices of a man who has everything.

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