Back in the 1800’s little was really understood about medicine. There was a period called the Great Binge between 1870 and 1918 when Bayer had a product called heroin.  It was thought to cure headaches, just like Bayer Aspirin does today.  Heroin was also thought to be helpful in weaning addicts off Morphine addiction, in particular with Morphine withdrawal. 

Because Morphine use was causing havoc with soldiers, who were becoming addicted at an alarming pace, Bayer (formerly known as  Aktiengesellschaft Farbenfabriken) began to attempt to synthesize a less harmful drug from morphine, when they accidentally stumbled on heroin.


Heroin was also used in cough drops and relived the pain from menstrual cramps and migraines. It was also referred to as the “cure” for addiction to morphine. It was actually supposed to lessen the pain of Morphine withdrawal.  What they didn’t know was that, when Heroin crosses the blood-brain-barrier, the body changes the drug into Morphine.  However, Heroin is more soluble than Morphine, so it actually reaches the brain faster. In essence, Bayer had just figured out a way for addicts to get high faster.  Heroin is more potent that Morphine