A World Without Morphine?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by oshron, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

    Aug 14, 2010
    Empire of Rplegacy
    this idea occurred to me recently. what if morphine was never isolated from opium in 1804, and was never isolated at all as a result? i want to ignore any immediate butterflies that could/would come about from the very non-existence of morphine even as little as a second after it not existing ITTL when it does IOTL. instead, what i want to look at is, potentially, what historical figures could be changed because they or their ancestors do not receive morphine if and when they become injured, in war or otherwise: thus, they have more severe wounds or rougher recovery periods and their persons change because of that, or the inability of getting them to relax during surgery results in their deaths.

    if anyone knows of notable historical figures who were saved thanks to the administration of morphine, i'd be much obliged. keep in mind these three other key events:

    1. morphine was first distributed in 1817
    2. it was sold commercially for the first time in 1827
    3. the hypodermic needle was invented in 1857, which resulted in morphine being more widely used IOTL; morphine doesn't exist ITTL, but the hypodermic needle does
  2. Color-Copycat Banned

    Aug 12, 2010
    Новоро́ссия (HOBO-RUSSIA)
    The mechanism by which endorphins and their receptors operate would remain a mystery, as it was initially discovered through their similarity to morphine molecules and their binding sites.

    Also, Hermann Goering would have to find some other way to get high.
  3. twovultures Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    Perhaps the artists and partiers of the 20's turn to different hard drugs-maybe relying more heavily on cocaine. They experiment with different ways of preparing cocaine more often and advance cocaine 'technology'. Ultimately the crack epidemic hits the West during the 30's and 40's.
  4. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Apr 13, 2007
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    ???why wouldn't Morphine be discovered?

    People were experimenting with purifying lots of things and opium was a prominent natural drug. If it doesn't get discovered in 1804, it gets discovered in 1805, or maybe, possibly as late as 1810. 1820, if you push it.

    So, little to no difference.
  5. lloyd007 Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'd agree here, barring a POD that sets all science back, morphine is going to be discovered since, unlike some synthetic drugs that are only discovered when some moron decides to eat the residue at the bottom of a beaker, morphine is derived from opium, and opium has been known for centuries / millenia by this time.
  6. altamiro Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Where the streets have no names
    Let's use rather a small biological POD: a few hundred thousands of years ago the poppy plant underwent a beneficial mutation that resulted in modified morphine structure - which is only toxic but not otherwise active in humans. Let's say the mutation protected the plant from grazing animals and in no time the “epimorphine" producing poppy plants replace the morphine producing ones. No opium...
  7. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Dec 20, 2007
    Michigan USA
    Interesting; but the thread isn't about "How do we get a 'no morphine' world". No, oshron asked ...

  8. jamsodonnell Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2009
    By the Sweet Murkeyditche
    I suppose there's still laudanum. On the other hand does the non-discovery of morphine mean no discovery of codeine? If Codeine is still discovered then stronger derivatives like Oxycodone will be produced by the early 20th century