•Opium (lachryma papaveris), is the dried latex obtained from the opiumpoppy, Papaver somniferum.Opium contains approximately 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequentlyprocessed chemically to produce heroin for illegal drug trade.•The latex also includes codeine.•The traditional method of obtaining the latex is to scratch ("score") the immature seed pods (fruits) byhand; the latex leaks out and dries to asticky yellowish residue that is laterscraped off. The modern method is toharvest and process mature plants bymachine.•Opium for illegal use is often converted into heroin, which is less bulky, making it easier to smuggle, whichmultiplies its potency to approximately twice that of morphine.
•Morphine is made from theopium poppy and latex is gatheredfrom unripe poppy pods.•Another method ofmanufacturing morphine usespoppy straw from the dried stemand pods of the plant, then thecrushed poppy plant is treatedwith sulphuric acid. The resultingmixture goes through numerousextraction processes. The finalalkaloids are precipitatedammonium hydroxide or sodiumcarbonate. This further purifiesmorphine from other opiumalkaloids.
•The origins of morphine can be traced backto 1522 when the scientist and alchemistParacelsus is said to have used laudanum, as apain killer.•The popularity of laudanum increased withthe East India Company’s interest in opiumtrade in 1757 and was eventually marketed asa drug to cure alcohol and opium addiction.It was only later that they realized thatmorphine could be equally addictive.• The drug was extensively used during theAmerican Civil War. http://thisiswarblog.wordpress.com/201 2/09/23/stoned-in-the-ranks-drug- and-alcohol-abuse-nothing-new-in- military-culture/•An important factor in the adoption ofmorphine as a pain killer, was the inventionof the hypodermic needle in 1853.
•Morphine can be used to treat a number of ailments:•Patients suffering from heartattacks,•Pain associated with surgery,trauma and chronic pain likecancer.•It is used as general anesthesia, asubstance that puts you to sleepif you need to have a surgery, sothat you don’t remember it.
•Morphine’s primary clinical use is to managemoderately severe and severe pain. •After heroin, morphine has the greatest dependence liability of the narcotic analgesics in common use. •Morphine is administered by several routes (injected, smoked, sniffed, or swallowed); but when injected particularly intravenously, morphine can produce intense euphoria and a general state of well-being and relaxation. •Regular use can result in the rapid development of tolerance to these effects. •Profound physical and psychological dependence can also rapidly develop, and withdrawal sickness upon abrupt cessation of heroin use; many of the symptoms resemble those produced by a case of moderately severe flu.
•Street names of morphine include M, 13, Emma, cube, morf, mofo, dry grog, white hop, uncle, coby, gold dust, love dust, monkey dust, and many more.• Morphine is marketed underseveral brand names likeoxycodone(Percodan), dihydromorphenone(Dilaudid), and hydrocodone(Vicodin). and many other brandnames. •Morphine occurs as feathery, white, and silky crystals; cubical crystal masses; or white powdered crystal and dissolves in water and slightly in alcohol.
•Heroin was first synthesized by C.R. Alder Wright in 1874 by adding two acetyl groups to the morphine molecule. •When used in medicine it is typically used to treat severe pain, such as that resulting from a heart attack or a severe injury.•The name "heroin" is only used when beingdiscussed in its illegal form. •When it is used in a medical environment, it is referred to as Diamorphine and comes in tablet or injectable form for the same indications as morphine and is often being preferred over morphine due to its lower side- effect profile
•The only significant difference between Morphine and Heroin is that the acetyl molecule allows heroin to cross the blood-brain barrier more quickly than ordinary morphine. •In terms of dosage, heroin is about three times stronger. •One grain of heroin equals about three HeroinMorphine grains of morphine. Otherwise, they are identical and there is no significant difference that would justify heroin being completely illegal (Schedule I) while morphine is used routinely in medicine. (Schedule II). • They can be used interchangeably as long as medical personnel follow standard practices of medical care.