from the opium poppy plant. Heroin, as todays society knows it, was originally
chemically made in 1874 by a man called C.R.A Wright who was a pharmacist at
this time. Wright figured out that by isolating the morphine molecules found in
the opium poppy and adding two components from the Acetyl group (expand).
Heroin was first sold over the counter from pharmacies in 1898 in the form of a
cough mixture. To parallel this to modern day it would be branded and seen like
companies in todays society have to be regulated and medications FDA approved (expand)
before any medications can be sold to the public. However, back in the late
1800’s those methods of safety measures were not in place. It was after a
number of years had passed that the devastating effects of heroin started to
become apparent. Once the heroin was administered, whether for example orally as
something like the cough mixture or intravenously as a pain reliever, that it
metabolised in the body and turned into potent morphine which is highly addictive.
company called Bayer were the first company to buy the rights to the newly
named (quote heroin in German heroisch to show why heroin got its name – made you
feel strong etc) Heroin in 1894 and had supplies ready to be distributed by
1898. Bayer was left red faced however because it was not until distribution
that it became apparent that what they had widely advertised as a non-addictive
substitute for the likes of codeine was in fact much more virulent.
It would be a
further (?) years before until the United States of America would be the first
country to recognise heroin in its socially destructive and lethal entirety.
1914 seen the US criminalise the drug and make it illegal to obtain anywhere
without a prescription (diacetylmorphine) but it would be a further ten years
before that aspect was also made illegal. The United Kingdom had a slower
reaction to the ever-growing drug crisis and did not make the drug illegal otherwise
prescribed by a Doctor until The Rollinson Committee Report criminalised it in
1926 (reference and quote, illegal to possess distribute and supply). It during
this period that manufacturers lost there rights to produce the drug which
subsequently forced the heroin trade underground. (Expand on the purity of
heroin and how because of the above and with it being forced underground this
then led to the purity becoming lower or higher? And being cut with other