DOI link for Heroin
The history of heroin is first and foremost a story of progressive scientific control over a substance. This chapter focuses on the German discourse of the 1920s, when doctors, pharmacists and judges argued over sovereignty in matters concerning opiates. While aspirin is considered to be a 'wonder drug', heroin is no longer recognized as a medicine at all, rather only as a forbidden addictive substance that destroys those who become dependent on it. Relatives of 'heroin' have been in use for ages and by various cultures, be it as a part of 'theriac' or of 'opium'. In the nineteenth century, morphium was extensively used in pain therapy, particularly in the wars: the Crimean War, the Prussian-Danish War, the Austro-Prussian War as well as in the Franco-German War. The battle against opiates was fostered by the US government. The dilemma that morphinism and heroin addiction posed to doctors was clearly described and even today has lost none of its relevance.