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The image of the opium poppy always represents peace and tranquility.

What is the image you conjure when you hear the word HEROIN?

Heroin and morphine come from the opium poppy plant the ( (Papaver somniferum). Images of calm and peaceful sleep fill our heads when we see the poppy plant. I am not sure why this is because some lives have been lost to wars over who would control the poppy fields of the world. Where do words for certain opiates find their names?

These opiates are powerful so of course, they must be fruits of the gods!

morphines intrigue

Morphine is not addictive, kills pain without fear of consequence

The etymology of Morphine

The Webster dictionary only has a scientific definition for the word, heroin, the drug that intrigues, in one way or another so many people our population. I chose to go deeper and research how Webster defined morphine the father of heroin. Morphine has ties in the Greek world. Morpheus was one of the Oneri, gods of dreams and he resided with his siblings in the underworld. The three major deities in this trilogy are Hypnos the god of sleep, Pasithea, goddess of hallucinations, and Nyx the goddess of night.  According to Ovid, there were thousands of siblings and dream gods.

Morpheus controlled the gate to dream the world from the underworld and this is where the gods passed into the surreal world of human dreams. The most prominent trilogy of the dream deities would be Morpheus appeared in different human forms in dreams. Phobetor the god of nightmares and he personified animals, beasts, demons, and monsters.The last of this trilogy would be Phantasos the god of surreal dreams and inanimate objects was responsible for fantasy and apparitions

The power of the opium poppy has been used and dates back to before there was a written language. The world has known the power of the opium poppy and dates as far back as the time of the Sumerians. The Sumerians called the poppy Hul Gil – the joy plant.The poppy has been used to fight pain and cure insomnia in most cultures and seen in medicinal journals and mythological accounts of all ancient civilizations.

Thru the ages morphine has undergone much criticism and concern because of the addictive properties.  Heroin was created to cure Morphine addiction, methadone and suboxone to help treat heroin addiction. What happens next?

Morphine is multi-faceted and looked at with intrigue, questions, and mystique.

Wars are continually fought to safeguard the world’s poppy fields. The poppy is used in modern myth and stories and the flower. The poppy has made appearances into popular culture throughout history.  Of course recently with the recent epidemic here in the USA, heroin has been in the spotlight in the news due to consistent overdoses, arrests, and substance abuse treatment policy reform.

Besides recent appearances in the news and social media, the poppy plant filled the witches cauldron in The Wizard of Oz, In Game of Thrones, the painkiller the Maester’s offer to the dying in Milk of the Poppy and I am sure there are plenty of more resourceful references to opium, heroin, and Narcan.

Opium poppy slumber

Sleep my pretty

Why are the words heroin, the opium poppy, and morphine so intriguing?

Back to my original question. What image comes to mind when the word heroin is brought up in conversation. It I snot fair for anyone to answer yours truly, but if I come to mind so be it! take a second and think how your mind has created a stereotype of the ever-growing heroin addicted,

  • unkempt and grimy
  • homeless carrying his home
  • poor hygiene and smelly
  • loud and boisterous
  • dangerous and criminally inclined
  • punks and rock n roller’s
  • prostitutes and escorts

Do these images come to mind?

  • Wall Street day trader
  • Lawyer, Physician, medical professional
  • Substance Abuse Clinician, Mental Healthy Provider, Social Worker
  • Police Officer, Fireman, EMT, Parole or Probation Officer
  • Mother, father, priest or politician

If you entertain ancient stereotypes of traditional heroin addicts it is time to shatter this image.

Opium heroin morphine

The opium poppy ready to give life to the world

The times have changed and opiate substance abuse disorders have never discriminated who would get hooked to their enticing spell.

Now, let’s look at this word heroin it just raises curiosity. Some of us are drawn to the genuine darkness and evil it portrays. Others find their way through traditional medicinal uses and doctors practicing medicine with physically and psychologically addictive drugs that are not understood. Then there are those who try it just one time because of peer pressure and they don’t realize the vampire they let into their life.

Not all are interested in trying heroin because of the lure or dangerousness of opiates, instead, some people are repulsed by just hearing the word heroin.  Still, the word is powerful enough to cause such a negative response. Heroin is one of those words that can change the topic of any discussion, that everyone thinks they know something about and needs to be respected by all.


What type of feeling does the word heroin create inside of you when it si heard in conversation?