You can’t buy this shirt anymore, and I’m not sure many could have afforded it with its $89.00 price tag, but this shirt from Christopher Tod still warrants a post in my opinion. I find it really interesting how many illegal drugs were, or still are, marketed as legal pharmaceuticals. It’s kind of ridiculous in my opinion, and this shirt somewhat pokes fun at that, and rightfully so.
Commercially introduced to the world by The Bayer Company in 1898, Heroin’s debut quickly saw rise to a new “star” in the drug world – one whose fame, or infamy is beyond dispute.
Etymology: Heroin, a derivitive of Heroisch – The German word for Heroic – this was how test subjects initially reported they felt after consuming the drug.
History: Heroin’s highly distinguished profile may make this hard to fathom, but Heroin was once available over-the-counter. From it’s introduction in 1898 until the passing of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 Heroin as well as cocaine and opium were unregulated.
Heroin was used in common cough syrup. As with most opioids and opiates, Heroin is an effective respiratory depressant. It was used in the treatment of the common cold, and respiratory diseases such as; Pneumonia, Influenza, Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, etc… Of key importance; Antibiotics – such as Penicillin, were not available until the 1940’s – One of the aforementioned diseases could result in long-term debilitation or Death. To suppress the body’s coughing certainly helped a patient get the rest needed for their body to do it’s own healing. It should be noted however that opiates impair the body’s immune system.
One of the more interesting Heroin facts is that it was initially believed and advertised to be less addicting than Morphine. Therefore, Heroin was used as a treatment for Morphine addiction, which was known to some as “Soldiers’s Disease” by the association of Morphine addicts from the Civil War. This type of replacement therapy is akin to the current practice of prescribing Methadone as an effective narcotic replacement in Heroin addicts today.