APPENDIX E History of Drug Addiction Research: Key Discoveries/Events, National Policies, and Funding



Historical Time Line


Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and surgeon general of the Continental Army, was one of the pioneers of drug addiction research in the new America.


1784 Pioneer researcher in substance abuse, Dr. Benjamin Rush, published a pamphlet entitled, "An Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Mind and Body"




1806 F.W.A. Sertürner, a German pharmacist, extracted the first addictive ingredient, morphine, from crude opium, revolutionizing pain control

Morphine and Pain Control

Availability of morphine and the new hypodermic syringe during the Civil War created the "army disease."


1868 Congress enacted the Pharmacy Act, requiring registration of individuals dispensing drugs




1875 Key elements of human addiction to morphine identified (e.g., fixation, withdrawal)




1897 Gioffredi's study on possible immune system antibodies to morphine or other toxins


The Bayer Company sold cocaine in pure form, as well as morphine and heroin, through pharmacies beginning in 1898.




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