"I need morphine! Is it true that my eyes are like buttons? I feel gripes inside my belly, as if I am filled with straw."When a drug addict is left a physical and mental wreck from their addiction to drugs or alcohol. The decline is often documented as a way of showing Drugs Are Bad. This is distinct from the Functional Addict (who is still capable of accomplishing the tasks of every day life), but the Functional Addict may become this. In cynical works, this can be the endpoint of a Descent into Addiction character arc. Also distinct from The Alcoholic (where the character trait is simply that they are usually drunk), but there definitely can be overlap. The Logical Extreme is someone being killed by their addiction. If they're part of a Very Special Episode, they may get support and become a Recovered Addict.
— Catherina, Pathologic
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In the Black Lagoon story arc involving Abu Sayyaf, the Triad enlists as Revy and Rock's chauffeur to the US military base a Knife Nut assassin named Shenhua and a driver named Leigarch who is continuously snorting coke. A previous overdose resulted in frequent hallucinations, and between then and Shenhua's next appearance in the Greenback Jane arc, he apparently OD'd again and wrecked his brain to the point where he had to be institutionalized.
- In Cruelty, Reis Northcotte's mother is implied to be this; certainly, she is a Missing Mom due to her frequent arrests. His dad takes this to the Logical Extreme, having died of an overdose.
- Happens to Matt in the It Matters collection of Death Note fanfictions, brought on by Mello's (Canon) decision to leave Wammy's House (and thus Matt) behind without bothering to say goodbye or make contact with him until the (also Canon explosion. Matt began using drugs (opiates in particular), alcohol, and empty sex (as well as Self Harming) to cope with the pain of losing Mello. When they are reunited, he starts on a path to recovery by Going Cold Turkey. He is mostly successful, though he does fall Off the Wagon every now and again, which does put a strain on his marriage to Mello.
- In Kongo, Dr. Kingsland is a wild-eyed, twitchy, hollow shell of a drug addict, hooked on "bhang root". Kingsland says that he was actually sent to the Congo to fight drug addiction in the colony, but at some point he "just stopped fighting."
- X-Men: Days of Future Past: Past Charles Xavier is so far gone with his alcoholism and self-medication that he can't function without Hank McCoy's help.
- In Little Laura And Big John, very near the end of the film we see that the eponymous Laura has drunk herself stupid after John's death.
- In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega's cool, collected, impossible-to-faze exterior hides the fact that he is a heroin-addled moron who would have wound up getting himself killed a long time ago if it wasn't for Jules being there to continually rescue him from his own gorked-out stupidity. In fact, not having Jules around quickly results in his death.
- In Traffic, Caroline goes from straight-A student to crack whore after she is introduced to freebasing cocaine.
- Pink's drug use is implied to be one of the reasons why his wife cheated on him in The Wall. At one point, after he's engaged in a little Artistic Stimulation, she tries to speak to him, but he just looks at her like "daaahhhh..."
- Jim/the Waco Kid starts out with a bad case of the DT's in Blazing Saddles, at least on one side, although he gets over it fairly quickly.
- Kyle and Dusty in Meth Head. They struggled to find money and suffered some bad side effects from all the meth they snorted.
- In Dragon Bones, there is the protagonist's mother, who takes several drugs, and is almost always drugged. The fact that she's never quite there strongly implies that the drug abuse has affected her brain. Close to the end, Ward uses his magical "find" ability to look for her ... and doesn't find her, even when he finds her body.
- King Wargun and Krager in The Tamuli. Wargun (who is still sane in The Elenium) is said to be insane from drink and locked in one wing of the palace at the beginning, and Krager has lost his mind and is dying at the end. It's mentioned that, by the end of The Tamuli, Wargun is dead as well.
- In The First Law series, the Lovable Rogue mercenary leader Nicomo Cosca goes from a Functional Addict with a drinking problem to one of these by the end of Red Country, with a lot of description given to how much of a physical and mental wreck he has become. It also seems like as his alcoholism gets worse from novel to novel, he also declines morally, and is basically the Big Bad of Red Country.
- In the Flashman series, Flashman's father, Buckley, ends up in this state, helped along by experiencing a financial collapse from bad investments. In the first novel of the series, he's a bad-tempered old rake with a drinking problem, and shortly after that, he's put in an asylum to be treated for the DT's. He appears as a POV character in the spin-off novel Black Ajax but doesn't really show up after that (except for mentions of his bad physical and mental health), and it is implied that his son basically left him there to rot.
- Father Kabani from Hard to Be a God, alchemist, alcoholic and a total burnout. He started to drown his sorrows after seeing too many of his inventions used for war and torture. By the time of the novel, he is a complete wreck.
- Tim Benzedrine in Bored of the Rings. In his more lucid moments, he readily admits that binging on drugs has destroyed his brain.
- Bulwa of Shaman Blues. He apparently tried to shut down his magic Sight with alcohol and drugs, and by the time Witkacy meets him, he's an insane beggar living in the gutters and babbling incoherently.
- Subverted by Mr. Tulip of The Truth. He's not addled because of drugs so much as because of all the ridiculous things he tries to ingest thinking they're drugs. Household chemicals, mostly.
Mr. Pin: Let's go through this again. Drugs equals chemicals, but, and please listen to this part, sheesh, chemicals do not equal drugs!
- Sherlock Holmes is portrayed like this in some pastiches, most notably The Seven Percent Solution.
- Ellie Rooney on the short-lived show ''EZ Streets' is a barely functioning heroin addict.
- Dolores Mayo, the interim civilian aide played by Lola Glaudini on NYPD Blue, just seemed shy at first. Then it was revealed she was using heroin. Then she went downhill very fast.
- Rodrigo Borgia takes vitriola (diethyl ether) for a good part series two Borgia and suffers hallucinations and erratic behaviour, not a good state to be in whilst being pope.
- The appropriately named Blowpipe in Jim Cartwright's Road.
- In The Sims 3, you can make a Sim this by assigning them the Absent-Minded, Inappropriate, Insane, or Unstable traits (or all of the above) along with the Party Animal trait, and/or assigning them those traits and having them do nothing but drink, eat, eat/burn herbs, consume potions with negative effects, Woo Hoo with anyone and everyone, play video games nonstop, or otherwise engage in an addictive behavior.
- The narrator of Theres A Man In The Woods.
- The Stomach Guy in Awful Hospital is an Animate Body Part in the throes of a debilitating addiction to stomach pills, to the extent that it's slowly overriding his mind◊. It leaves him barely recognizable and almost completely non-verbal.
- In Clockwork Game, Johann Maelzel becomes an alcoholic and is shown clearly suffering from it.
- The character of Sugar in Hot Bikini Beans is a once upon a time math teacher who is reduced to a Meth-addict trying to scrape by.
- Jacques François Mouret, once an excellent chessplayer and director of The Turk (a chess-playing "automaton") was a notorious drunk. George Walker would later mourn "he unhappily formed habits of dissipation fatal to his respectability and standing in society. He burnt out his brain with brandy and died recently in Paris reduced to the extremest stage of misery and degradation." Mouret was only 50 years old.
- hide was an extremely talented guitarist, one of the pioneers of Avant-Garde Metal, and likely could have been one of the few people with the capability to have made Japanese Heavy Metal and Visual Kei a fixture in the global metal scene far earlier than it was. Unfortunately, he was also a hardcore alcoholic, and while he remained a Functional Addict for a while, around 1994, his alcoholism had reached the point of severe and life-threatening, and only worsened from there. In 1998, he died as a result of an accident involving self-inflicted asphyxiation, with a BAC buried in alcohol poisoning range and evidence of methamphetamine use, at 33 years old.
- Taiji Sawada was a virtuoso bassist and guitarist, one of the first Japanese rockers to fuse metal and country-western music, and unfortunately a raging alcoholic and user of stimulant drugs as well. He moved from Functional Addict to Addled Addict territory around the early 1990s, in part leading to his being kicked from both X Japan and Loudness, becoming entirely broke and homeless and his mental illnesses getting out of control, being almost killed in a fight with another homeless man, and only slowly putting his life back together - only to fall Off the Wagon again, one last time, in 2011, which led to his arrest and to his suspicious death at 45 years old.
- Syd Barrett, a former Pink Floyd member around when the band just released their first album. He became increasingly paranoid and schizophrenic and his drug use didn't help matters much. During recording sessions and concerts he phazed out, unable to do anything put stare. The others kicked him out of the band and Barrett recorded two solo albums, after which he became a recluse dealing with drug addiction and mental instability for the remaining 40 years of his life.
- Herman Brood, a Dutch rock star was infamous for using every possible drug in existence. During interviews he often appeared to be confused or continually drawing attention to himself in ways that didn't always made a lot of sense. Many people had sympathy for Brood, who could be a very nice and charming person. Unfortunately this was also one of the reasons why his addictions wrecked his health. Police officers and customs agents never confiscated his drugs because they took sympathy on him. By 2001 Brood was told by his doctor that his body was totally spent and he had only two months to live. The rockstar decided not to wait that long and committed suicide by jumping of the roof of a hotel building.
- Amy Winehouse's drug addictions also took their toll later in her career. Despite having a best-selling record, Back to Black, she was never able to cash in on it properly, because she was often too stoned or drunk to actually be able to record or perform. Everytime she made the news it was for public drunkenness or drug use, making a total fool out of herself. She died at age 27, with the long anticipated successor to Back To Black only appearing after her death.
- Phil Katz was a genius computer programmer and the creator of the .zip file format, as well as a pioneer of freeware and shareware. His crippling social awkwardness forced him to turn to alcohol to loosen up while running his company, PKWARE. Unfortunately, this led to extreme alcoholism and estrangement from his family and co-workers, and he drank himself to death in 2000 at age 37.