A brief history of heroin
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.