2.5.2 Codeine

Codeine #

Common Nomenclature 3-Methylmorphine
Street & Reference Names Codate; Codephos; Codamol
Reference Dosage Light 50mg+; Common 100mg+; Strong 150mg+ [Oral, TripSit]
Anticipated: Onset / Duration 30 Minutes/ 4-6 Hours
Maximum Dose Experienced 100mg
From Pills
RoA Oral
Source / Jurisdiction UK


Discovered in 1832 by Pierre Jean Robiquet, codeine is one of the most commonly used members of the opiate family, and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. It is generally used to treat pain.

Possible side effects include drowsiness and constipation, whilst less frequently, conditions such as itching, nausea, dry mouth and urinary retention can arise.

As with other opioids, addiction is a serious threat, as is the risk of overdose. A further risk is sometimes presented with codeine in that it is often supplied in combination with paracetamol, ibuprofen, or similar. At high doses these in themselves can cause serious health issues and even death. Please do not brush these warnings aside.

Regarding dosage I elect to target the low end of what is regarded as (recreationally) common, with a figure which is frequently recommended across social media forums: 100mg. This is apparently equivalent to about 15mg of morphine.

As luck would have it, either bad luck or good luck depending upon perspective, I have a fairly bad cold at the moment, with a dry cough. Usually, this would flash a big red light for any sort of drug expedition, but given that codeine is sold openly as a cold remedy## ## , usually as part of a cough syrup, this presents something of an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Or alternatively I am using flawed logic to sell the idea to myself, given that for purely medicinal purposes the dose I propose is ludicrous.

From prior research, my expectation is of a period of relaxation, a feeling of well-being, and possibly some euphoria. Later, this may morph into sedation, a sense of heaviness and some sleepiness. Hopefully, along the way this will also mitigate the discomfort of my current ailments.

T+0:00 I swallow three 30mg pills plus 1/3 of a fourth (weighed not eyeballed). All are swilled down with a glass of water [2:30pm].

Note that I ate an average sized meal about 90 minutes ago.

T+1:00 It is far more difficult to analyse the effects of a drug whilst not in full health, particularly shallow end subtleties. What I can state at this point, however, is that I feel warmer, and some of the pain is being masked. The usual heady opioid comfort bubble is in play, but weariness is suppressing much of the uplift.

T+2:00 I feel sedated, relaxed, and content, with a hint of heaviness and analgesia thrown in. I remain warm, and I am generally apathetic.

T+4:00 Although a less intense version of the above remains, the wretchedness of the cold has now re-established itself. I am tired, shivering, and a bit dizzy, with a headache in situ courtesy, I believe, of excessive coughing. This has certainly taken a turn for the worse.

T+5:30 At 8pm, five and a half hours into the ride, I go to bed. I am still experiencing the residue effects of the drug, but I am now too poorly to sit at my desk and suffer.

I had a terrible night: a headache, a fever and coughing fits. I was basically ill. Ditto the next morning: it felt hangover-like in parts. The question I ask myself is how much of this was created by or exacerbated by the codeine? Was 100mg too much? I cannot believe that this was all down to the cold/flu, although it is possible.

This has been a real mess. It was a reminder that opioids are not my bag. It was also a lesson not to use a recreational drug outing to treat a medical condition, unless certain of the outcome.