Heroin Addiction - An Opium Euphoria


By David Mark

Imagine being prescribed heroin as a way of getting off morphine or giving your child heroin based cough syrup. Sounds far fetched?

Think again. From 1898 to 1910 heroin was sold by Bayer, a German pharmaceutical company to the public as a way of taking someone off of their morphine addiction and as cough syrup for children.

Although Heroin was discovered years earlier, it was Bayer that broke ground in raising public awareness to the drug.

After it's introduction to the masses it became fixed in the recesses of the recreational drug user, long after it's negative side effects were revealed to the general public.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is derived from the opium poppy, which was first harvested 3,500 years ago in Mesopotamia. Its only with the last 150 years that Heroin was developed.

Heroin's development like any other drug in the beginning of it's life was heralded as a potential cure for many things. It didn't take long to produce results far more disastrous than morphine and codeine, (which are heroin's chemical parents) combined.


Heroin is the strongest of the opium derived drugs. It is an acetylated form of morphine, which turns into pure morphine in the liver.

Although the needle and heroin have become tied together as it's ideal way to be administered, heroin can also be inhaled, ingested, and snorted.

It causes euphoria in it's user, which diminishes after repeated uses and other various other effects. It's withdrawal symptoms are excruciating, involving intense kicking motions, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression and depending on the individual death.

The Heroin Celebrity Culture

Heroin has been at the center of an underground celebrity culture for more than three decades. It has led to the deaths of famous musicians like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobaine, and Jerry Garcia. It killed actor River Phoenix and severely hampered the career of actor Robert Downey Jr.

Heroin has been immortalized in movies like Trainspotting and My Own Private Idaho, but when and how did this insidious drug weave its way into the heart of pop culture.

Current roots of pop fascination with heroin can be traced to the glorification of the pop culture of the 60's, when heroin really broke into the main steam music scene through rockers like Morrison, Garcia, Joplin, Dylan, and Hendrix.

These musicians turned social icons seemed to imprint the vanguard use of heroin into the minds of the generation's youth.

Despite the popularity these names brought to heroin, the foundations for celebrity and pop culture fascination with the drug can be traced to the Beatnik generation and the Jazz musicians, which fueled that generation's energy.

Most American pop culture historians place a direct link between the hippie and counter culture revolutions of the 1960's to the earlier Beatnik and Jazz generation.

With all the resurgence, nostalgia, and idolization the current pop stars and celebrities place on the previous generations' cultural icons, it is of little surprise that they seek out highs of heroin.

Has Heroin Become Uncool?

As Generation X, the generation, which was home to Kurt Cobaine and the movies Trainspotting and My Own Private Idaho and which immortalized photographer David Sorrenti's (he himself died from a heroin overdose) famous heroin chic look, grows older the nostalgic resurgence of heroin use has begun to have peaked in favor of other drugs.


Yet however popular other drugs like prescription drugs and cocaine have gotten, heroin remains a historical cultural symbol ready to rebound at any moment.

It is for this reason, awareness and knowledge about heroin addiction is so important to make known and spread to others.

Learn more about Heroin Addiction here: http://www.myaddiction.com/heroin.html