In an effort to wean druggies off their addiction, chemists at the University of Virginia labored to develop a non habit-forming drug that simulated the effects of opium, morphine, heroin and cocaine without harming the bodies of those using it. We called the theoretical synthetic drug "dopeless dope," or the narcotics equivalent of a nicotine patch. Researchers tried to methods of producing safe narcotics: firstly, by purifying opium to isolate its harmful elements, and secondly, by studying the molecules within narcotics to figure out what made them so addictive. To create a non-addictive narcotic, scientists reasoned that they'd have to find a harmless chemical that would not cause permanent damage to cells.
Read the full story in "Seek Drug to Save Dope Fiends"