Heroin : A New Epidemic With An Old Drug Essay

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Heroin: A new epidemic with an old drug The first ever opioid, opium, comes from the sap of opium poppies. Cultivation and growth date back to ancient civilizations around 3400 B.C. In the early 18th century physicians used opium for a therapeutic agent that had multiple purposes, but mostly for relieving pain. It was only towards the late 18th century that some physicians began to recognize that the drug had extremely addictive qualities. Codeine and morphine are isolated forms of opium. Heroin was first synthesized from morphine in 1874 by English chemist C.R Wright. However, the drug was not available for commercial use until The Bayer Company introduced heroin as a substitute for morphine in 1898. The United States outlawed the drug in 1924 with the Heroin Act, which prohibited manufacturing, importation and possession of heroin, even for medical use. The drug heroin sweeps through America and the world; it does not care about race, age, or social status, people of all walks of life are being affected. The molecular formula of heroin is C21H23NO5. This means that it is made up of 21 atoms of carbon, 23 atoms of hydrogen, one atom of nitrogen and five atoms of oxygen. There are total of six double bonds within each molecule all the other bonds are single. It has a molar mass of 369.41g/mol and a melting point of 343.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Street names for the drug include: big H, brown sugar, H, hell dust, horse, junk, nose drops, skag, smack and thunder. The drug can…

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