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Relating to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Story of Cocaine Abuse


Snow White and My Cocaine addictionWe have all heard of the rumored drug and sex references throughout the history of the Disney Animated movies.  From inappropriate, incredibly comical sexual imagery depicted in Aladdin and The Little Mermaid to the drug references supposedly depicted in Alice in Wonderland and Fantasia, Disney has long faced allegations of using sex and drugs in both the plot and visual advertising of their products. Of all the exaggerated claims I’ve heard regarding Disney, the one I find most intriguing is the idea that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (SWSD) is about the various stages of cocaine use.

According to one author discussing SWSD, “While Snow White may have been a poster-child for the fairest and most innocent of them all, “Snow White” is also a street term for cocaine! Snow White and cocaine may both be powder-white, but let us take it a step further: Snow is cocaine, which causes exhaustion (Sleepy), mood swings (Happy, Grumpy), allergies (Sneezy) and alteration of personality (Bashful, Dopey) eventually resulting in a trip to the doctor (Doc)”. (  I’d like to think the downward spiral I followed in my battles with cocaine mimic the story of the drug-addled SWSD.

Every cocaine user starts out as innocent and pure before the drug sinks in its talons and begins to regulate every aspect of their life. I sure was innocent. I had no previous drug history besides the rare occasion where I smoked marijuana usually due to peer pressure in high school. When I found cocaine, I thought she was truly the “fairest of them all.” Cocaine could do no wrong in my book. It gave me energy, concentration, an ability to ramble on for hours and I honestly believed that I had found my true voice. Cocaine made me feel invincible and more like a White Knight in shining armor rather than an innocent, pure princess like Snow White.

As my cocaine habit progressed (demised, even) I began to suffer from the “Dwarf-characteristics” so prevalent in the SWSD drug tale. The mood swings began first as I was on either end of the teeter-totter spectrum of Happy or Grumpy. When I had the money (or found ANY way to get that money) needed to purchase cocaine, I was truly Happy. Nothing else mattered and when I got that eight ball from my dealer I told myself that the next two days (yeah, I used a lot) would be great and free of worry. However, when those two sleepless days were over and the reality set in that I was without my miracle fix, I became the epitome of “Grumpy.” I wouldn’t return phone calls, do daily chores, clean my clothes, take care of my personal hygiene or even attend family functions with loved ones. Grumpy was the ultimate consequence brought on by a physical craving for cocaine that I could not satisfy until I came into possession of more money by any means possible.

Thinking of Sneezy makes me laugh when I look back at how my nose used to run like a sieve during my cocaine-fueled escapades. Kleenex was the only thing I’d buy at the store. No food. No soap for a much need shower. I’d arrive at the checkout register with my eyes twitching, my body moving erratically and holding five maximum-size boxes of Kleenex. This took place on a weekly basis. I almost began to pray that I would sneeze just in order to clear out my nasal passages so that I could go snort another line. My physical state was either on full alert when high or desperately clinging to wakefulness in attempt to avoid sleep. Being “Sleepy” meant I wasn’t doing enough to secure the next score, and if I did pass out from exhaustion, I would only stay asleep for a couple of before waking up to my physical cravings taking over my mind and body.

“Bashful” and “Dopey” describe my interactions, or lack thereof, with the outside world and the people I avoided on a daily basis. While high and at work, I’d walk with my head down in fear of someone discovering my secret and being able to tell from my pinned eyes and runny nose that I had just been doing drugs in the work bathroom. I was like “Dopey” – quiet, reserved and a complete weirdo. In any situation other than work, I was “Bashful.” I wouldn’t approach or talk to anyone unless that person could somehow secure more drugs for me. Unless I used with you, could get money from you or if you had drugs to sell to me, you truly were of no use to me.

The “Doc” represents the end of the road for my addiction. I saw a plethora of doctors and therapists, and like many addicts, have had some very negative and some very positive relationships with doctors as I attempted to recover from my cocaine addiction. I’ve yelled at them, cried in their arms, loved some for what they’ve done for me and hated others for not doing enough.

Using Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as a metaphor for my cocaine addiction may be seemingly absurd, but finding the humor and sadness throughout my using history and comparing it to a Disney movie is part of the therapeutic process for my recovery. I don’t look to every movie and give the characters and plots drug connotations, but it brings me great joy to do this with a childhood classic. It is simply finding another way to acknowledge the truth, humor and sadness inherent in my recovery and in my personal struggle with addiction.


Bibliography Drugs in Disney Movies. n.d. <>.


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