In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll invents a drug that brings about his evil side, but the struggle between himself and this side ultimately leads to his death. Although Dr. Jekyll’s story is mainly one of mystery and a battle between good and evil, this story can also be interpreted as a cautionary tale that warns that abusing drugs can lead to a painful life of abuse, addiction, and perhaps, untimely death.
Dr. Jekyll can be compared to a drug addict, and the stages of addiction one may undergo. First, he begins using the drug, and as a different man, displays the effect of the drugs on his behavior. At one point early on, he questions the morality of his pasttime, but promptly dismisses it, as he is becoming accustomed to becoming Mr. Hyde, and can compensate for things he has done in that state. As time passes, he starts changing some aspects of his life simply to accommodate for his use, such as purchasing the house in Soho or having clothes made to fit Mr.
He also at times uses larger and more dangerous amounts of the drug, as the normal dose didn’t suffice. Soon he begins experiencing physical ailments, when he randomly awakens as Mr. Hyde. This causes him to attempt to quit using the drug, but at this point it was too late as he was already addicted, and he gave in. When he commits murder, it is shown that he can no longer compensate for the actions of his altered state.
He attempts rehabilitation again, but fails due to another random transformation, which can be viewed as a symptom of withdrawl.
When he runs low on the drug, he is hard pressed to obtain more, and can no longer live without it. As Mr. Hyde, the addictive alternate personality, takes over, and without the drug, Dr. Jekyll sees the only other opportunity to rid himself of his addiction as suicide. In conclusion, Dr. Jekyll was akin to one who may ruin their lives with real world drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, or heroin. While this is a compelling story of mystery and suspense, it also delivers an important message of staying drug free.