The Role of Chemistry in History

The Role of Chemistry in History header image 2

Historical Significance

April 24th, 2008 · 3 Comments ·

Introduction | Discovery | Chemical Composition
Usage | Historical Significance

In terms historical significance, the use of heroin has a great cultural and economic impact.


The drug has inspired countless writers, musicians and other artists over the past century worldwide. References to heroin feature in a variety of films and music works. The epitome of which are the movies “Trainspotting” and “Requiem for a Dream” which portray stories of heroin addits and the consequences of drug abuse. Many music artists have been influenced by the heroin. The list includes John Lennon, David Bowie, and Ray Charles. The drug is also associated with the death of Kurt Cobein and John Belushi, both of whom died as a consequence of a heroin-cocaine overdose.


The economic impact of heroin is a result of its cultivation in Third-World contries and subsequencly, its trafficing to the Western World. Since the drug is extracted from the opium poppy plant, its history is tightly linked to the trade of opium and the conflicts resulting from it. Nowadays, the drug channels profits to countires like Afghanistan (the major supplier of heroin) where they are used by local warlords for underground purposes.

Tags: Heroin