Structural formula
General information
Other namesDiacetylmorphin
Sum formulaC21H23NO5
CAS number561-27-3
Short descriptioncolorless crystalline solid
Mol mass369,42 g/mol
State of aggregationfirmly
Melting point173 “°C
Boiling point273″°C with 1600 Pa
Steam pressure1,012.10-7Pa (25 “°C)
Solubility0,2g/l in water, 0,6g/l in ethanol
Safety references
T+Sehr malicious
R and S-sentencesR: 26/27/28 S: 22-36/37/39-45
LD50 (humans)50 mg with 70 kg body weight

Heroin (griech. female technical term – Heros compares – “the hero “, chemically Diacetylmorphin) is a halfsynthetic, strongly analgetisches, look for-producing Opioid.


The history of the consumption of or energize euphorisierenden Opiaten (among other things also as cures) is enough to approx. 3000 v. Chr. into old Egypt back and leads into the modern times to the of China. On the pain-satisfying, reassuring however antagonistically effect of Opiaten, also energizing, Pharmazeuten and chemists became already at the beginning/in the middle 19. Century attentively and to the natural substance excerpt Opium tried to find a chemical equivalent and develop a cure, which was to be manufactured fast and could be accordingly also marketed.

Heroin was marketed as pain and cough means orally which can be taken and publicised as “not addicted-making medicine “against the withdrawal symptoms of morphine and Opiums. The Opioid was taken up first extremely positively by the medical profession as well as by the patients. It was sold in dozens of countries and trial packages were distributed to physicians, who almost used it soon as universal remedies. 1904 were recognized that heroin, exactly like morphine, leads to fast habituation and dependence. Some physicians before side effects and dependence warned, these remained however in the minority. That was on the one hand because of the aggressive marketing, on the other hand to the fact that the oral Darreichungsform led to a very much slower and smaller proportioned admission of the material, whereby strong intoxication conditions and dependence were usually missing.

To the drug heroin developed starting from approx. 1910 particularly in the USA, where morphine and Opiumsucht were far common. To be familiar it became that smoked or intravenously squirted heroin had a stronger effect, transferred many dependent ones to the easily available substance. The number of the heroin-dependent exploded, which led soon to national counter measures – heroin fell gradually in the whole world in disgrace. 1931 adjusted Bavarian production and removed heroin from his product range. Instead the company concentrated on its second, innovative discovery: the aspirin, with heroin ironically until today is partly stretched. In Germany heroin was sold still until 1958.

Right status

The possession, the production and the trade with heroin (without an appropriate national permission) are posed in Germany by the (listed in plant 1) under punishment. Long time was exclusively illegaly consumed it world-wide as drug. In pilot studies in Germany since 2002 a medically supervised delivery is tested to dependent ones (see section 8).


The IUPAC name is ((5R, 6S) – 4,5-Epoxy-17-methylmorphin-7-en-3,6-diyl) – diacetat. Sum formula: C21H23NO5.


Heroin is halfsynthetically manufactured. Original substance is thereby by extraction morphine won from the Rohopium of the sleep poppy (somniferum), this at the two hydroxyl groups (di) acetylated by means of acetic anhydrid (acetic anhydride) or acetic acid chloride.