The Drug Heroin

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Drugs have been around for hundreds of years. Indians were known to

have used Opium and other drugs for medical and various other purposes. During

the 7th Century A.D. in China a drug emerged called Opium. Opium, the dry juice

from immature seed pods of the opium poppy plant, is a narcotic drug that is

very powerful in the relief of pain but is also very addictive. At the beginning

Opium was like any other drug, but then people unaware of the harm it could

cause began to use it more and more often. During the 19th century in China

there was a period called the Opium Wars where the use of Opium had become such

a problem the government tried to prohibit it. But by then no one could stop its

growth. In 1803 the compound responsible for the painkilling effect was found

and called Morphine. This discovery brought even more use of Opium. Finally in

1898 a chemist discovered diacetylmorphine or Heroin. Heroin was at first

considered a safer, stronger but less addictive pain killer and was used by

doctors everywhere. However doctors soon found out that it was more dangerous

and even more addictive. During the 70's heroin reemerged as a powerful drug

but many were afraid to use it. Throughout the 80's strong anti-drug campaigns

seemed to be winning the war on drugs. But, in 1996 people have become alert to

the increase in Heroin addiction. Heroin use has doubled every year since 1992.

What caused the use of heroin to increase? The growth of heroin abuse has

increased in the United States because famous musicians and movie stars have

been caught with the drug, because pop culture continues to make heroin seem

glamorous, and because babyboomers have a relaxed view on drugs.

To begin with, the abuse of heroin has increased because famous

musicians and movie stars have been caught with the drug or have been known to

use it. Kurt Cobain, lead singer for Nirvana, openly admitted to abusing the

drug and checked himself into a detox center weeks before his suicide. Kurt

Cobain had chronic stomach problems and was always looking for something to ease

the pain. During an interview with MTV he commented on his stomach pain with,

"The pain in my stomach made me feel like a junky so if I was going to feel like

a junky I might as well become one." Cobain's stomach pains made him look, talk,

and feel like a wrecked individual. So...

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...s body or future. During the 80's

there was a huge war against drugs. Many parents thought that the government

was doing a good enough job of informing children of the risks about drugs and

let their guard down. Obviously, the government did not do a good enough job of

informing children of the dangers of drugs, recently there have been a number of

studies showing that almost every illegal drug's use among teenagers has risen

dramatically since the early 90's.

In conclusion, the use of heroin has grown because rock stars and actors

have been caught with the drug, because the media glamorizes the use of heroin,

and because some parents have a carefree view of drug usage. Almost everybody

knows at least one person who has at one time done an illegal drug. Anybody can

become hooked on drugs. Today the percentage of teenagers using drugs keeps

rising just as it was in the sixties. Chances are in the future there will be

another strong anti-drug campaign just like the one in the 80's which will

reduce the amount of drug abuse for future generations. When today's teenagers

become parents what will the attitude on drugs be? Will it be more accepting or

less accepting?

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