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Addiction in Franklin County

A brief history of heroin


The type of disposable syringe intended for insulin users but that can be used by heroin addicts.

Recorder/Micky Bedell

The type of disposable syringe intended for insulin users but that can be used by heroin addicts. Recorder/Micky Bedell

Heroin wasn’t always illegal.

Pharmacologists developed morphine from the opium poppy in the early 1800s, then heroin from morphine before the end of the century.

The Bayer Company began marketing heroin in 1898 — a year before aspirin — as a cough medicine and painkiller. Morphine’s addictive potential had already been recognized, and the new drug heroin was billed as more effective and less addictive. Several times more powerful than morphine, heroin quickly revealed itself to be actually more addictive and harder for the patient to shake once hooked.

U.S. lawmakers banned heroin a quarter of a century later, after the damage was done, and it has never left the domestic addiction scene.

Related

Series at a glance: Pushing Back

Friday, May 9, 2014

A year ago, we reported that addiction to heroin and its painkiller cousins was ravaging lives in Franklin County.  Now, this new six-day series asks “what can we do?” ... to reclaim those ruined lives and beat back the threat of chemical enslavement. … 0

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