Heroin for many decades holds the first place in the list of the most dangerous drugs in the world. On the heroin needle are sitting millions of people. Heroin belongs to a variety of opiates and has analogs.

Heroin (other names: diacetylmorphine, diamorphine) is a representative of drugs that do not bind to opioid receptors and do not have an analgesic effect. The pharmacological profile of heroin is administered intramuscularly or enterally.


History of heroin:

Chemist’s packaging of heroin, 19th century
Drug use in traditional societies was regulated by strict rules, so the real social problem was drug addiction only in the industrial age, and primarily in large cities. In addition to individualization, alienation and other factors, it is necessary to name the process of development of pharmacology. Citizens of civilized countries are gradually accustomed to the fact that doctors can save them from any pain. For example, from the middle of the 19th century, all complex operations were performed under general anesthesia, and death from pain shock gradually became a rarity in medical institutions in Europe. Doctors understood that many analgesics are extremely dangerous, but it was difficult to replace them.

Josef von Mehring Diacetylmorphine was first synthesized in 1874 by Alder Wright, an English chemist, who worked in the medical school at the St. Mary’s Hospital (London). In the last years of the XIX century pharmacologists worked tirelessly in search of a substitute for morphine. The pioneer in all chemical research was then Germany (not without reason, it was there that poison gas was invented). In 1896, Josef von Mehring, working with many esters of morphine, created a substitute for dangerous cocaine, which was then the main cough remedy. He persuaded the main producer of alkaloids, the Darkshtad firm Merck, to throw into the market in 1898 a commercial drug, a derivative of morphine, which was called “dionine” in the trade network. It was immediately widely used instead of codeine and other opiates. Also as a medicine for cough, diacetylmorphine was released by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG in 1898 under the trademark “heroin” (It is believed that the name “heroin” comes from the word “heroic”).

Von Mehring’s achievements stimulated the scientific thought of another prominent pharmacologist, director of research programs at the pharmaceutical firm Bayer & Company Henry Drezer. In 1898, he created a drug that relieved pain better than morphine and was safer at the same time. By its chemical formula, the substance was called diacetylmorphine. After the first experiments, it seemed that it was much less addictive than any other morphine derivatives.

It took four years before it became clear that a new medicine, widely sold around the world and doing wonders of anesthesia, leads patients to unheard of drug addiction – it did not come immediately, but exceeded everything that had been known hitherto. Since 1902, many countries have begun to enact laws prohibiting the importation of diacetylmorphine. The conclusions of this story were made much later. For example, in the United States, it was not until 1929 that the development of analgesics began, for addicts.

Heinrich Drezer was an honest scholar, eager to alleviate human suffering. But it was with his light hand that the company “Bayer and Company” appropriated a diacetylmorphine for the drug, a catchy, easily remembered name – heroin.


Heroin is banned from production and use because of its ability to quickly cause drug addiction.

Once a person falls under the influence of heroin, the drug leads him to addiction. The newcomer still does not feel pain, but very soon will meet with her. Although some drug experts deny that people experience pain when they break apart, and use the term “discomfort”, consumers themselves describe this feeling exactly as pain. This pain in a weak form can appear after three to four weeks of use. In other words, the molecules that make up the body in a short time change to such an extent that they are in the absence of the usual dose. Of the degree of discomfort when breaking up will increase in direct proportion to the length of use and doses of the drug. In addition, the breaking will come more quickly.

Significant popularity among drug addicts, in comparison with other opiates, heroin is due to the several times more pronounced than morphine, the narcotic effect

The logical consequence of taking heroin is the formation of physical dependence on the drug. If it is impossible to receive a dose in time, the abstinence syndrome begins to develop. This feature is directly related to the mechanism of the action of diacetylmorphine. Interacting with opioid receptors, it depresses the synthesis of endorphins and decreases receptor sensitivity. In the event of discontinuation of the drug, a complete or partial disabling of the analgesic system occurs. After a certain period of decompensation, its own analgesic system begins to restore its function, the duration of decompensation is determined by the state of the organism, the experience of drug addiction and the size of the drug. There is a complete elimination of physical dependence. The severity of the psychological dependence remains at the same level or increases.

The duration of the withdrawal syndrome. In the process of the normalization of the state, the clinic gradually fades out and the subjectively unpleasant sensations accompanying it, in fact, all in the same clinical manifestations are observed in its development. The duration of the withdrawal syndrome can be different: in the treatment – from 3 to 15 days, in the absence of such a. The more the period of admission and the dose, the heavier and longer the withdrawal syndrome.