Heroin Use And Misuse Of Drugs

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Heroin use and misuse are certainly nothing new to America, although most people probably could not cite its true origin or history, knowing only what is portrayed on television and movies. Heroin invokes images of dirty needles and equally dirty individuals, barely conscious, and lying in their own filth amongst hollowed, abandoned and dilapidated buildings. These are the images portrayed in movies and promoted among mass media, these are the images conjured when one speaks of heroin addiction. Few know that heroin was conceived by a doctor attempting to invent a non-addictive form of morphine, which he named diacetylmorphine (Quinones, 2015, p. 53). Or that a chemist employed by Bayer, maker of the widely popular and trusted modern day children’s aspirin, would subsequently synthesize diacetylmorphine and rename it heroin – short for heroish, the German word for heroic (Quinones, 2015, p. 53). Until 1914 and the creation of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, heroin was sold as a remedy for ailments such as diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and respiratory problems (Quinones, 2015, p. 53). Of note, the term opiate and opioid are often interchanged, however, only two substances are opiates – naturally occurring from the opium found in poppy seeds – codeine and morphine (Cobaugh et al., 2014). All other substances synthesized from morphine are considered opioids, and as such, heroin and the prescription pain medication discussed within this thesis will be properly entitled
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