Birth of Heroin Essay

339 WordsMar 25, 20092 Pages
Diacetylmorphine, Smack, H-bomb, Hell dust, Thunder and The big-H those are just some of the names the drugs Heroin goes by. Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Serturner, a German pharmacist, was the first person to isolate morphine from opium in 1805. He named the isolated alkaloid Morphium in honor of Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, due to its euphoric properties. Opium is a narcotic which has been around for a very long time, since ancient cultures. The word narcotic comes from the Greek language, it means “agents that numb or deaden the body, paralyze”. However now the definition has changed to “Any substance, natural or synthetic, which any of the substances, natural or synthetic, in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Single Convention on the Narcotic Drugs, 1961, and that Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961”. The Opium that is used for the creation of morphine comes from scoring an immature seed pod from an opium poppy seed. The seeds contain about 12% of morphine in them. Other drugs such as Codeine, thebaine and papaverine also come from opium poppy seeds. Back around 1810 through the 1890s Morphine was the new wonder drug. It killed intense pain and left the user in a euphoric numb dream like state. In the 1850s doctors would use the drug in their practice. During the civil war many injured soldiers were treated with morphine. It was only afterwards that doctors began to realize just how addictive the drug really was once soldiers started to became addicts. Doctors did not know how to cure morphine addicts of their addiction. In 1874 a British chemist synthized heroin from morphine. It was not until 1898 that heroin was brought to the markets by Bayer a German pharmisutical companey. Doctors said that the drug was safe, “a heroine in the war against pain”, so they gave it to morphine

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