Although heroin (diamorphine) was first manufactured from morphine at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1874, its advantages and disadvantages in comparison with morphine itself are still in dispute. It was originally introduced into medicine as a remedy for cough and morphine dependence in 1898. Indeed morphine addicts readily exchange morphine for heroin but of course this does not represent a cure. Heroin is now the more important drug of addiction although its manufacture has been banned in the USA since 1924, as well as in most other countries. An attempt to do the same in Britain in 1953 failed in a welter of propaganda and counter-propaganda which did nothing to establish its value objectively.
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