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What is the difference between morphine and heroin?
Q: Originally, according to everything I've read, morphine was converted to heroin for marketing reasons. Why is Morphine converted into heroin with all the legal problems in today's world? Everything that is written states that the pain relief and other effects of the two are the same. Is this true? Is there enough differance in dosage to make up for the loss in formulation?

A: Due to increasing levels of morphine addiction, heroin was originally marketed as a safer and just as effective replacement for morphine. I dont know the exact numbers, but I believe heroin is about twice as strong as morphine, as it can pass through the blood/brain barrier easier (due to the extra acetyl groups). Subjectively, the rush from heroin is reported to come on faster than that of morphine. By 'Loss in formulation', I assume you mean the loss in yield from converting from morphine to heroin...this loss is not much of an issue as the acetylation of morphine to heroin is quite easy with the appropriate chemical knowledge.

The reason heroin is no longer used for pain killing in most countries is because of its higher abuse potential. The subjective differences in effects seem to be enough to stimulate a sufficient demand for heroin over morphine.

Asked By : Larry B.
Answered By : psilo
Published Date : 9 / 11 / 2000
Last Edited Date : 9 / 11 / 2000
Question ID : 187

Categories: [ Heroin ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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