All posts by Bernardo Rico

Opium & Civil War Morphine Addiction

The U.S. experienced its first major drug epidemic over 150 years ago with returning Civil War veterans addicted to morphine. At the turn of the 19th century, the U.S. was exposed to opium use and addiction from its newly acquired...

/ January 13, 2017

Early 20th Century Cocaine Use & Addiction

While cocaine was first synthesized in 1856, it did not become widely commercially available until the early 20th century. Coca Cola even used small amounts of cocaine in its beverage from 1886-1900. Yet, it wasn’t until the early 20th century...

/ January 12, 2017

The 1906 U.S. Food & Drug Act and the First International Opium Conference

To address nascent drug use and abuse, the U.S. Congress passed the Food and Drug Act in 1906. The Food and Drug Act’s main purpose was to ban foreign and interstate traffic of all adulterated and mislabeled food and drug...

/ January 11, 2017

The Harrison Act of 1914

In the U.S., continued growing alarm over drug addiction, the rising Temperance Movement for alcohol, and a desire to maintain credibility with its international partners upon pushing for the 1912 Opium Convention, motivated the U.S. to pass its first major...

/ January 10, 2017

The 1961 U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

In 1961, in an effort to incorporate the discovery and growing use of synthetic opioids such as methadone, as well as cannabis and drugs with similar effects that were not a part of previous treaties, the U.N. developed the Single...

/ January 9, 2017

A Short History of Cocaine

In the early 1500s, the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, introduced Europeans to the Inca’s use of coca leaves. The Andean region’s indigenous cultures had been chewing the leaf for centuries as a remedy to alleviate hunger, fatigue and sadness. While...

/ January 8, 2017