Erowid
 
 
Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
September is Erowid's Annual Public Support Drive
We need 1,225 unique donations to meet our goal!
Heroin
Timeline
by Erowid
1853 Hypodermic needle-syringes with a point fine enough to pierce the skin are invented simultaneously by Charles Gabriel Pravaz (French surgeon) and Alexander Wood (Scottish physician). It is first used to inject morphine intravenously.   
1874 Heroin is first synthesized from Morphine by chemist C.R. Alder Wright at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Its potential was not recognized. 1  
1897 Heroin is synthesized by Felix Hoffman at Bayer Pharmaceutical. Bayer immediately recognized its potential and began marketing it heavily for the treatment of a variety of respiratory ailments. 1  
1898 One year after beginning sales, Bayer exports heroin to 23 countries. 1  
Early 1900s Doctors and pharmacists begin noticing that patients are consuming large amounts of heroin containing cough remedies. 1  
1906 Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labelling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others. The law went into effect Jan 1, 1907 2   [Details]
1911 British Pharmaceutical Codex notes that heroin is as addictive as morphine. 1  
1913 Bayer ceases producing heroin. 1  
Dec 17, 1914 The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act is passed, regulating and imposing a tax upon the sale of Opium, Heroin and Cocaine for the first time. The Act took effect Mar 1, 1915. 3   [More Info]
1924 The Heroin Act passes, making manufacture and possession of heroin illegal in the U.S.   
1965-1970 U.S. involvement in Vietnam is blamed for the surge in illegal heroin being smuggled into the States. 4   [Details]
1971 10-15% of American servicemen in Vietnam are addicted to heroin. 1  


References
  1.   Durlacher J. Heroin: Its History and Lore. Carlton, 2000.
  2.   Pure Food and Drug Act. 1906.
  3.   Johanson CE. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs: Cocaine, A New Epidemic. Burke, 1992.
  4.   Opium Throughout History. Frontline. 1998.
History of Heroin, UNDCP 1953