ANSWER: Origins of methadone

It looks like about half of this is indeed an urban legend, or at least a legend of some kind. This Hitler connection is supported even in academic journals, as in: "Methadone, also called "dolophine" or "dollies" in old street parlance, came from World War II Germany as a synthetic opioid created for medical use. Supposedly, "dolophine" was named for none other than "Adolph" Hitler, perhaps one of the reasons its name was eventually changed." (Agar, Michael, and Heather Schacht. "A Tale of Two Policies: The French Connection, Methadone, and Heroin Epidemics." Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry; Sep2002, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p371, 26p).

However, I found a couple of more detailed articles that disprove this connection:

"In 1939 Otto Eisleb and a colleague O Schaumann, scientists working for the large chemicals conglomerate I G Farbenindustrie at Hoechst-Am-Main, Germany, discovered an effective opioid analgesic drug which they numbered compound 8909 and called Dolantin....Meanwhile close colleagues Max Bockmuhl and Gustav Ehrhart were working on compounds with a similar structure to Dolantin....There is no evidence, as had been widely believed both here and in the USA, that they were working as part of a German attempt, directed by Hitler, to replace opium supplies which had been cut off by the war.

"This myth has been widely expanded to attributing one of methadone's first trade names - Dolophine - to being a derivation of Adolf and even that it was called Adolophine in Germany - the 'A' being dropped after the war. In fact the name Dolophine was created for the drug as a trade name after the war by the Eli-Lilly pharmaceutical company in America. It was probably derived from the French dolor (pain) and fin (end)."

(Exchange Supplies. "The History of Methadone and Methadone Prescribing."

See also "The History of Methadone," from a German source by Ralf Gerlach, Deputy Director of the Institute for the Furtherance of Qualitative Drug Research, Acceptance-Oriented Drug Work, and Rational Drug Policy, at