Heroin be a further ten years before that


Heroin
derives from the opium poppy plant. Heroin, as todays society knows it, was
originally chemically made in 1874 by a man called C.R.A Wright who was a
pharmacist at this time. Wright figured out that by isolating the morphine
molecules found in the opium poppy and adding two components from the Acetyl
group (expand).

Ironically,
Heroin was first sold over the counter from pharmacies in 1898 in the form of a
cough mixture. To parallel this to modern day it would be branded and seen like
Covonia is.

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Pharmaceutical
companies in todays society have to be regulated and medications FDA approved
(expand) before any medications can be sold to the public. However, back in the
late 1800’s those methods of safety measures were not in place. It was after a
number of years had passed that the devastating effects of heroin started to
become apparent. Once the heroin was administered, whether for example orally
as something like the cough mixture or intravenously as a pain reliever, that
it metabolised in the body and turned into potent morphine which is highly
addictive.

German
pharmaceutical company called Bayer were the first company to buy the rights to
the newly named (quote heroin in German heroisch to show why heroin got its
name – made you feel strong etc) Heroin in 1894 and had supplies ready to be
distributed by 1898. Bayer was left red faced however because it was not until
distribution that it became apparent that what they had widely advertised as a
non-addictive substitute for the likes of codeine was in fact much more
virulent.

It would be a
further (?) years before until the United States of America would be the first
country to recognise heroin in its socially destructive and lethal entirety.
1914 seen the US criminalise the drug and make it illegal to obtain anywhere
without a prescription (diacetylmorphine) but it would be a further ten years
before that aspect was also made illegal. The United Kingdom had a slower
reaction to the ever-growing drug crisis and did not make the drug illegal otherwise
prescribed by a Doctor until The Rollinson Committee Report criminalised it in
1926 (reference and quote, illegal to possess distribute and supply). It during
this period that manufacturers lost there rights to produce the drug which
subsequently forced the heroin trade underground. (Expand on the purity of
heroin and how because of the above and with it being forced underground this
then led to the purity becoming lower or higher? And being cut with other
harmful things)

Some may say that this led to the ultimate destruction or non
regulatory drug use (expand)

deaths and overdoses (name high profile death of a star UK/US e.g.)
that

The Brian Committee recommended methadone…

 

Heroin has
devastating effects on the user and also the society around them. It has both
psychological and physical effects which have an enormous impact on that
individual. Heroin destroys teeth and reduces bone density, causes the lining
of the heart to become infected leading to coronary issues, collapsed veins
from injecting and exposes the user to HIV and hepatitis from using potentially
unclean syringes. These are just a small number of side effects from Heroin use
but they all too often lead to death.

Psychologically
addiction of the person also becomes apparent as the drug metabolises into
Morphine in the body, it sends the user into what has been described (quote) as
a euphoric state. However, this is short lived as eventually the effects of use
wear off. This state of euphoria lessens with every use as the body states to
build up a tolerance to the drug.

Prominent
ways of thinking around illicit drug use in both past and present societies
stem from Foucauldian modes of thought (quote).

Foucault
established very intellectually written and thought out theories on why society
was perceived to be hooked on this drug as well as other illegal substances
(quote).

His theories
gained support during the late twentieth century as people did not have the
resources or knowledge like they do today to make well informed opinions on the
subject. Theories are used to provide substance to the concepts of individuals
or groups of people collectively, in a society where Heroin use was apparent
and rapidly becoming of detriment to many people the Foucauldian modes of
thought would provide them answers. Foucault ultimately provided them with
theories that were acceptable to them as they were in conjunction with their
empirical realities of society.

 

The
Foucauldian concept of Bio-power have shifted from a repressive approach
through the seventieth and eighteenth centuries to that of a constructive
approach1
through the nineteenth and twentieth century through to today. Biopower for
Foucault stands out from other more conventional theories in which he makes consistent
remarks that the threat of death from the State or Sovereign was paramount in
keeping the population orderly originally. In a time like our own where control
must be advocated sanely and on a humanitarian basis, Biopower is used by an accentuation
on the security, sanctity and preservation of life as opposed to the danger of
death and in turn led to the generation of different advancements of Power over
the population.

 

Many popular
theorists such as Hakosalo2
agreed with Foucalts train of thought and they agreed that Biopower

Biopower, described by Foucault as ‘control over life’,
constitutes control over singular bodies and also in the population as a whole.
Hakosalo3 characterizes
Biopower as the use of systems of control and pressure for the efficiency and
soundness of people and populaces, in light of a perspective of them as assets
and reasonable articles.

Political
rationality around the preservation of life rather than the destruction of it
started to become embedded in society during the late eighteenth century
however, politically it was still a much-debated topic. This era seen the
population grow rapidly (quote) and Foucault establishes this time as the first
in history that power focused on life rather than simply choosing death;
political presence had started to filter into the population and become
intertwined with all levels of society.

 

This
interlace with society would see the paradigm shift in focus move from
population to the individual body. To critique this notion from a social
constructionist perspective, as Foucault was, it can be argued that an
individual became the focus of disciplinary power in its entirety. Or, as
Foucault so concisely described it as:

                                    ‘subjected, used, transformed and improved4’.

 

Biopower views
knowledge as the ultimate key in the governance of a population and that the
individual body would be the best source of information to start from however,
the individual body would be the strong hold that governing powers
underestimated. Biopower encompasses a host of different aspects but
Biopolitics is one of the main areas used to delve into societies knowledge and
being as it has practical aspects and interventions to be able to manage the
population from the ground up. Biopolitics employs processes that help
interface with society and the economic pressures it faced at the time.

Biopolitics
seen the widening of health services aimed at all classes of population to
improve their health – shrewdly, a healthy population could work more
efficiently

Social policy
is a visible strategy to handle collective processes concerned with the life
and health of the population. Other invisible power techniques, such as the
expansion of the health system domain into private life, coexisting together to
gather information and establishing what is considered normal and pathological
in the eyes of the state.

 

One of the
main aspects, some would argue the most prevalent (quote), observation that
social constructionists point out is the Biopower is not visible to the average
person in fact Biopower is a structured manipulation over aspects of life
around individuals in order to create power from knowledge. Drawing on this
important point is the also this parallel: as knowledge creates power, in this
instance scientific, it paves the way for medical professional to have free
reign over the body. Prescribing what they feel necessary, examining how they
feel appropriate, essentially governing over the self. This is no exception
when it comes to the physical treatment of Heroin users. To sum up this point
would it be fair to only treat a physical side of any addiction let alone one
so destructive? By not creating a fair and just system to help users maintain
and improve their lives all the state is really doing is producing ‘docile bodies5’
which can be manipulated and controlled by them for the purposes of what would
have been described previously as total social control. It can be argued that
the sovereign and state have not moved that far away from the fear of death
modes that would like to portray and that by having this control they could
still, without impunity, eradicate any threats to the existence of society.

 

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