Heroin was briefly commercially marketed as a cough medicine for children, and as substitute for medicinal morphine, having been erroneously believed to be less addictive.
Apart from medicinal use under strict control, heroin is illegal nearly worldwide, with harsh penalties for its possession, manufacture and trafficking, including the death penalty in many countries.
Illegal use of heroin typically is typically conducted through injection (sometimes mixed with cocaine - 'speedball'), snorting, or smoking/inhalation - 'chasing the dragon'. Large doses of heroin can be fatal, and the drug has often been used as a murder weapon. Though some noteable celebrities such as Rush Limbaugh have abused it in pill form.