Heroin Use, Drugs, And Drugs Essay

1564 Words Sep 26th, 2016 7 Pages
Heroin use is nothing new in American history, although few people could accurately depict the drug’s true origin. In all probability, the average person’s knowledge of heroin is grounded in what is portrayed on television or in movies. Heroin invokes images of foul people surrounded by needles and drug paraphernalia littered throughout abandoned and dilapidated buildings. Undoubtedly, few know that a medical doctor created a drug he named diacetylmorphine in an attempt to provide pain suffers with a non-addictive form of morphine (Quinones, 2015, p. 53). Few probably know of a Bayer chemist, the same Bayer that produces the modern children’s aspirin, who in 1898 synthesized diacetylmorphine and renamed it heroin from the German word heroish, which means heroic (Quinones, 2015, p. 53). For the next several years, until the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, heroin was marketed and sold as a remedy for a variety of common illnesses such as diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and respiratory problems (Quinones, 2015, p. 53).
For one to truly comprehend the magnitude of the current opioid epidemic, proper identification of the substances involved must be noted. The term opiate and opioid are often interchanged and used to generalize all pain analgesics from morphine to hydrocodone. However, only two substances are opiates, codeine and morphine, as these substances are naturally extracted from the opium found in poppy seeds (Cobaugh et al., 2014). All other…

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