Heroin Was Originally Marketed As What?
Answer: A Non-addictive Cough Medicine
In the late 19th century, Bayer, the massive pharmaceutical firm still in existence today, was searching for a non-addictive cough suppressant to replace the morphine cough suppressant syrups on the market at the time. To that end, they began producing and marketing a diacetylmorphine syrup under the trademark “Heroin”.
Despite Bayer’s marketing assuring users that Heroin wasn’t addictive, it proved to be even more addictive than the morphine they had been previously using. By the 1920s, there was a complete ban on diacetylmorphine among countries in the League of Nations. In spite of the ban, distribution and use of the drug grew, and by the 2000s there were an estimated 50 million heroin users world wide.