Though we now know heroin to be one of the most addictive and deadly drugs, its reputation wasn't always so sullied. The German company Bayer made a fortune selling aspirin and heroin in the late 1890s, marketing both as safe, medicinal substances. Heroin was presented to the Congress of German Naturalists and Physicians after successful trials, and labeled a "miracle drug." The presentation claimed that heroin was ten times more effective than codeine as cough medicine, and beat out morphine as a painkiller. The drug was particularly pushed by Bayer as the treatment of choice for asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and phthisis.
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Key Facts In This Video
Heroin debuted in the late 1890s as a cough medicine. 00:01
The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims heroin is the most addictive drug. 00:16
One study found a significant link between heroin use, disadvantaged neighborhoods, and stressful lives. 02:08