The Socially Acceptable History of Morphine

437 WordsJan 28, 20182 Pages
Opium, Morphine, and Heroin have been around for centuries. Currently they are all seen as nuisances to society, and are highly addictive, dirty drugs. But, in the late 19th century these pests were viewed in quiet a different light. They were praised for their healing powers, and even referred to as “GOM” or “Gods own medicine”. In the 19th century, the idea of a drug was fresh, and peoples’ appetites were ravenous. Deemed to be socially acceptable, they hit America fast, and would unknowingly cause an everlasting effect on our nation. Morphine, named after Morphis the god of dreams, was introduced to America in 1817. Created by a German chemist who extracted an active alkaloid from opium, morphine was produced as the first ever pain killer. This substance created a happy, sedated, and euphoric feeling in its users. And the practice of this drug in the 19th century was extensive. People and doctors believed that it could cure everything from third degree burns to diarrhea and was even the notorious alcoholic. During this time period in America, alcohol (although widely used) was considered to be one of the most dangerous substances. Because of this, Doctors would prescribe morphine to patients to cure the addiction. Publicly it was simply seen as a better alternative (better to be the quiet recluse, than a loud drunken buffoon). Though this drug had its foot in the door in America very early on, it didn’t really make a splash until the civil war. During this era there
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