Drugs: The Production of Heroin

1675 Words7 Pages
In the 1850’s, opium addiction was a major problem in the United States. To help reduce the rates, opium addicts were provided with morphine. The idea behind their logic was that it was less potent and a non-addictive substitute. Scientists and doctors quickly learned this was not the case as morphine addiction became a bigger issue than opium addiction. This morphine substitute was heroin (The Truth about Heroin). Heroin was first synthesized from morphine in 1874 by C.R Alder Wright whom was part of a German pharmaceutical company called Bayer. From 1898 through to 1910, Bayer marketed it under the trademark name Heroin as a cough suppressant claiming that it was a non-addictive morphine substitute that is until it was discovered that it rapidly metabolizes into morphine. One year after beginning sales, Bayer exported heroin to 23 countries. Since then, heroin was spread and used regularly. To this day, heroin addiction still remains a major issue worldwide, especially in the United States (Heroin Facts). Heroin’s elementary but effective production has resulted in a variety of harmful side effects in users and an evident impact hurting millions annually.
The production of heroin was very popular due to its simplicity. First the opium poppy seed is planted, grown, and harvested. The raw opium is collected into balls. From there, the morphine is extracted and processed to heroin. To do so, the opium is packed and placed into tubes where it is then crushed and dividing into portions signifying the size of the batch. Once crushed, it is places into barrels where hot, but not boiling, water is added, thus making the pH level around 8. The barrel is stirred and any garbage is removed. Next, hot water with lime is added...

... middle of paper ...

...rdless of its purity and leave the user with extreme side effects and will keep addicts stuck with it throughout the world with a large, demanded market supporting it.

Works Cited
Gray, Eliza. "Heroin Gains Popularity as Cheap Doses Flood the U.S." Time Magazine. 4 Feb. 2014: Web.
“Heroin Facts”. Drug Policy. Drug Policy Alliance, Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .
MorePheen. "How Heroin is Made." Opiophilia. BlogSpot, 21 Dec 2012. Web. 12 Apr 2014. .
The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Web. 12 Apr. 2014. .
"The Truth about Heroin." Drug Free World. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. .

More about Drugs: The Production of Heroin

Get Access