History of Heroin
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Heroin History

Heroin has a very long history of use throughout the world. It is thought that the Arab traders during the 7th and 8th century AD took opium to China where it was used medicinally up until the 17th century. In Victorian times opium was taken by all classes in the form of pills or laudanum. Laudanum is opium dissolved in alcohol. In 1874 heroin was created to be a cure for those addicted to morphine. With the intention of being a safe, non-addictive substitute for morphine, heroin fell short of its expectations. Soon it was noted that heroin produced addiction exceptionally quickly in many and was made illegal in 1920.

1853   Hypodermic needle-syringes with a point fine enough to pierce the skin are invented simultaneously by Charles Gabriel Pravaz (French surgeon) and Alexander Wood (Scottish physician). It is first used to inject morphine intravenously.   
1874   Heroin is first synthesized from Morphine by chemist C.R. Alder Wright at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Its potential was not recognized.
1897   Heroin is synthesized by Felix Hoffman at Bayer Pharmaceutical. Bayer immediately recognized its potential and began marketing it heavily for the treatment of a variety of respiratory ailments.
1898   One year after beginning sales, Bayer exports heroin to 23 countries.  
Early 1900s   Doctors and pharmacists begin noticing that patients are consuming large amounts of heroin containing cough remedies.
1906   Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labeling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others. The law went into effect Jan 1, 1907
1911   British Pharmaceutical Codex notes that heroin is as addictive as morphine.
1913   Bayer ceases producing heroin.
1914   The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act is passed, regulating and imposing a tax upon the sale of Opium, Heroin and Cocaine for the first time. The Act took effect Mar 1, 1915.
1924   The Heroin Act passes, making manufacture and possession of heroin illegal in the U.S.   
1965-1970   U.S. involvement in Vietnam is blamed for the surge in illegal heroin being smuggled into the States.
1971   Between 10-15% of American servicemen in Vietnam are addicted to heroin.

History of Heroin
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