Heroin was a brand name

Heroin, or diacetylmorphine to give it its scientific name, was first synthesized in 1874 by an English gentleman called C. R. Alder Wright. It wasn’t until 1898 that a man called Heinrich Dreser, head of drug development at German pharmaceutical company Bayer, saw the commercial potential in the drug. poppyplant

Dreser started developing the drug as treatment for respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis, testing the drug on animals, human test subjects and even himself. Unsurprisingly Dreser and his test subjects liked the drug, saying it made them feel “heroisch” German for heroic. From this the brand name heroin was born.

Heroin was given a big thumbs up from Dreser and the Bayer big bosses. Samples of the drug were given out to doctors who in turn prescribed Heroin to their patients. Bayer was producing Heroin pastels, cough lozengers, tablets, water-soluble Heroin salts and a Heroin elixir.

Suspicion of the drug arose however when doctors started to report patients requesting Heroin cough syrup even though they weren’t showing any respiratory problems.

It turned out that Heroin was extremely addictive and detrimental to a person’s health. Bayer stopped producing and selling Heroin in 1913, deleting any mention of the drug in it’s company history. In 1924 Heroin was made illegal in the USA, even for medical purposes. In Britain, heroin is still used for medical purposes to this day, accounting for 95% of the worlds legal heroin use.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Romley_Alder_Wright

 

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Meditation and Pain management

According to a new study, mindfulness meditation exhibited even stronger physical pain reductions than morphine, says the study’s lead investigator
Open any magazine and you’ll find that mindfulness has gone mainstream. You’ll also notice there are studies that purport to show meditation’s benefits on just about everything, from kids’ math scores and migraine length to HIV management and bouncing back after a crisis. Now, an elaborate new forthcoming study looks at how the brains of meditators respond to pain, to be published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
f-202.jpgDr. Fadel Zeidan, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has studied mindfulness for 15 years and has observed improved health outcomes as a result. “But what if this is all just a placebo?” he wondered. “What if people are reporting improvements in health and reductions in pain just because of meditation’s reputation as a health-promoting practice?” He wanted to find out, so he designed a trials that included a placebo group.
Zeidan recruited 75 healthy, pain-free people and scanned their brains using an MRI while they experienced painful heat with a 120-degree thermal probe. Then, the researchers sorted them into four groups and gave them four days of training. Everyone thought they were getting the real intervention, but most of them were getting a sham treatment.
“I want to be restrained about the efficacy of mindfulness, and the way to be restrained about it is by making it harder and harder to demonstrate its effectiveness,” Zeidan says.
First, there was a placebo cream group that participants were told reduces pain over time, Zeidan says (it was really just petroleum jelly). For four days, they rubbed it on the back of their leg and tested it against that painfully hot thermal probe. Little did they know, the researchers cranked down the heat each day; the participants thought the cream was working.
Another group was taught a kind of fake mindfulness meditation—they were told to breathe deeply for 20 minutes but were given no instructions on how to do it mindfully. The control group was subjected to 20 minutes of a very boring book on tape: The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne.996972_621934824532791_1132991476_n
For the real intervention, people sat for 20 minutes with straight posture, closed their eyes and listened to specific instructions about where to focus one’s attention and how to let thoughts and emotions pass without judgment. “Our subjects are taught to focus on the changing sensations of breath and to follow the breath with the mind’s eye as it goes down the chest and abdomen,” Zeidan says.
After four days, everyone re-entered the MRI machine and endured the same pain from the 120-degree probe. They were told to use their training—breathing deeply, mindfully meditating or the cream. They used a lever to indicate the physical intensity and emotional unpleasantness of the pain.
They found that people in all of the groups had greater pain reductions than the control group. The placebo cream reduced the sensation of pain by an average of 11% and emotional unpleasantness of pain by 13%. For the sham mindfulness group, those numbers were 9% and 24% respectively. But mindfulness meditation outperformed them all. In this group, pain intensity was cut by 27% and emotional pain reduced by 44%.
That shocked Zeidan. Past research has indicated that the opioid morphine reduces physical pain by 22%—and mindfulness had surpassed even that. But the MRI results, which showed how pain was registering in their brains, surprised him even more. People who had practiced mindfulness meditation seemed to be using different brain regions than the other groups to reduce pain.
“There was something more active, we believe, going on with the genuine mindfulness meditation group,” Zeidan says. This group had increased activation in higher-order brain regions associated with attention control and enhanced cognitive control, he says, while exhibiting a deactivation of the thalamus—a structure that acts as the gatekeeper for pain to enter the brain, he explains. “We haven’t seen that with any other technique before.”create
It’s an important preliminary study, Zeidan says, but exactly who will benefit from meditation’s impact on pain is still unknown. “We’re now at the stage, at least in my lab, where we have enough evidence that meditation reduces pain and it does it in a really unique fashion, different from any other technique we’ve seen,” he says.
And as for the questions left unanswered? “We don’t have the studies yet,” he says, “but we’re getting there.”
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