This drug, it’s raw. Unabated by modern technology. Every time, just like the last.
It’s got a lot of personality. In 1803, the apothecary Serturner isolated a strange brownish alkaloid from raw opium. It had some pretty powerful effects. He called it morphine after Morpheus, the god of dreams, the knitter up of the ravelled sleeve of care.
But now I don’t think it’s a dreaming drug to healthful sleep. I think it’s more like Janus, a two faced god, staring forward to addiction as it gazes backwards to happier times. And like January, it’s so cold my hands shake. I’d forgotten how dirty opiates make you feel, it’s like there’s a layer of them on me, acrid and yellow.
In 1874, diacetylmorphine was discovered. Because it binds more closely to the opiate receptors in the brain than most anything, it can be used to break morphine dependance. It was seen as a way to wean war veterans off the crippling doses of morphine they were addicted to. They called it heroin because it would save them.
Because morphine and heroin bind more closely to their specific chemoreceptors than natural endorphins do, the natural chemicals don’t get a look in; addicts are unable to respond at all to their own pleasure chemicals. Right now, neither can I; these pills are about as close to heroin as it gets. Thanks Doc! I’m so glad. I guess I was screaming quite loudly.
Ironically, endorphins got their name from morphine. Endo-morphines, get it?
And, right now, it’s the only strong analgesic they can give you, because most of the better alternatives are illegal to cultivate.
It’s all AG Bayer’s fault.
But that’s a rant for another day. When I’m less smacked up.