Citation: Andrew. "Like My Closest Friend: An Experience with Codeine (with Aspirin) (exp75372)". Erowid.org. Mar 29, 2018. erowid.org/exp/75372
I’ve been using codeine recreationally for upwards of 13 years now on and off. My initial exposure to it was through my mother who happens to be a nurse, I was about 14 and had a pounding migraine nothing was touching and my mom, being the caring person she is, gave me a Tylenol 2 to help. While the pill quickly removed the pain I noticed something I hadn’t expected before the fact which was a warm, pleasant sensation I couldn’t quite pinpoint running up and down my body.
At this point the internet drug scene was still relatively young, it was about 1994 and soothe primary sources of information I had to draw on were Usenet (I frequented alt.drugs.* groups on a near daily basis), and the few dedicated websites, and so given the pleasantness of my experience I began to search for similar reports to find out what specifically the deal was.
After some time of thorough searching I discovered that the drug in question was Codeine, an opiate which was metabolized in vivo into effectively morphine through a specific enzyme in the body. Through this same research I came to the realization I could obtain this drug and remove the undesirables by simply putting it in water and filtering. Being a sort of basement chemist at the time I covertly acquired 5 of my mother’s Tylenol 2’s, placed them in a few tablespoons of water and filtered it through a Kleenex within a cloth for stability and to avoid breakage. I placed this mixture into a glass of cold orange juice and drank up.
After about 10 minutes I began to notice the familiar warmth begin to spread to my limbs
After about 10 minutes I began to notice the familiar warmth begin to spread to my limbs
and turned on my television, within another 20 minutes I felt more serene and happy than I had in years and spent a good 2 hours lounged out in my living room grinning and really not even paying attention to what was on the screen. I fell in love quite quickly; people seem to gravitate towards certain types of drugs, some like stimulants where I always found them bordering on unpleasant, others like the chaos of the psychedelics experience (another type of drug I’ve used many times over the years). My sweet spot lay in the class of opiates, for me there’s little more satisfying than that warm, secure, fuzzy feeling. That being as it may, I very rapidly dove headfirst into using the drug on my own quite frequently. My mother being a nurse always had a supply of pills available to grab a couple for a night of itchy, warm fun.
This continued until my mother began to notice close to whole bottles disappearing from her room when she wasn’t around and my supply dried up. I went for a year or so without really using any when one winter afternoon I accompanied a friend to a local pharmacy. She asked the pharmacist for “ASA with Codeine”, I immediately did a double take. “Did you just ask for codeine?” I said to her, “well yeah,” she replied, “I use it for my back, I don’t have a script but two of these over the counter ones do the same trick.” Needless to say I was shocked, assuming all codeine products were prescription only and figuring my days of using them were over. So the next day I went to a pharmacy down the street, “Could I get 200 ASA with codeine please?” the pharmacists opened a counter and handed me the bottle and I paid out 10 bucks. I couldn’t believe it, 1600 mg of pure codeine for the price of pizza.
I went home, read up all I could on the law in Canada, the drug’s availability and so forth, I also proceeded to place the entire bottle of 200 pills into a half cup of cold water and stirred them until they were powder. Well, what do you know, this works just as well here as it did on the T2’s I used to use recreationally. Being all of about 16 at this point and having had extensive experiences with Marijuana, LSD, Mushrooms, DXM, Ketamine, MDMA and a whole pharmacopeia of other drugs this seemed perfect. Here was a drug I could get many, many doses of for a cheap price tag and a short walk to the local drug store, it was great. I introduced a close friend of mine to this drug and it became a sort of weekly ritual for us, once a week we would buy a bottle of ASA with codeine, extract it and proceed to use the majority over the course of the night in between joints of marijuana.
Well this pattern continued for about a year and we gradually, ever so gradually, began to take liberties with our schedule, “well, I can take a couple hundred milligrams today, I had a hard day at work”, or “well, we’re bored tonight, let’s go score some Codeine!” By the time I was 18 both of us had become daily users, it wasn’t unheard of for each of us to use an entire bottle to ourselves over the course of a night or two. The only significant down side was the absolutely horrific, acidic taste the solution left in our mouths, so strong it virtually made us gag and even throw up once or twice. So I began to search for alternate methods by which to use this favorite drug of mine.
The solution came in a form I never would have expected of myself, I found a website extolling the benefits of rectal administration. At first I balked at the idea, putting it up my ass? There’s no way, that’s something an animal junkie would do, and yet I was curious about it. Finally I brought up the subject tentatively with my codeine using friend, who reacted much the same way I did to the idea, with a sort of lack of belief the subject had even been brought up. It took us about another week of choking down the horrific nastiness before I finally said “that’s enough” and took steps to test out this new route. I did my standard extraction on 200 pills, ensured there was 320 milliliter’s of liquid total (if it was short I would just add a bit until it equaled 320), I bought a cheap plastic turkey baster, measured up 40 ml of the liquid (200 milligrams of codeine) and up the chute it went.
Initially it was nothing special, I was surprised how little I felt (it wasn’t uncomfortable, I was afraid it would “leak out” but nothing of note happened in that area, it was easy to put in with no discomfort). After about 45 minutes I realized I was significantly higher than had I taken the same dose orally. I conveyed this to my friend who was initially skeptical but finally decided to try it out for herself. Not knowing how it was put upon me to get the dosage she wanted ready and to actually place it up there for her, which I did. We spent the next for hours laughing like children and watching “Serial Experiments: Lain”, it was perfect. Not only did I have my favorite drug available on a whim, but no longer did I have to suffer through the horrid taste it caused when drinking it.
Thus began the slippery slide into full-blown addiction; I went from using a few hundred milligrams a day to often taking entire bottles of 1600 mg to myself over the course of a day. My friend (and consequently her boyfriend) began to dive into use with the fervor of starving dogs. At times I would have to switch pharmacies as the regular ones I visited began to refuse to sell to me asking, “you just bought 200 three days ago, what happened there?” to which I would come up with some lame excuse, “oh, I set it by the sink and my stupid sister knocked it into the sink so I lost them all.'
After about a year of this some of the closer pharmacies to me began to know who I was when I came in, a couple went so far as to actually bring out the bottle as I was waiting in line which was, to say the least, a little embarrassing. Due to this I began to “shop around”. I would buy a bottle in the north end of town one day then on the other side the next, my friend and her boyfriend faced the same issues I did in regards to being recognized, and as she was living in a nearby town with only one pharmacy nearby she ran into a lot of problems.
I’m now 28 years old, I’ve attempted 3 or 4 times to kick this habit but unfortunately keep coming back to my old friend Codeine, the girl I introduced it to and myself have since fallen out of touch, she was using heavily as ever last I heard. I’ll say this, this drug is SUBTLE, you approach it from the mindset of “it’s just over the counter, it’s not a big deal”, but don’t fool yourself, it’s addictive as all hell. If I go any longer than about 6 hours without 100 mg or so of codeine my eyes begin to water, I get a terrible headache and my legs begin to feel almost as though I have restless leg syndrome, like I need to stretch them but no amount of stretching gives any relief. After a day without I am physically weak, nauseous, I cannot sleep except perhaps in 5 minutes spurts here and there and I will do almost anything needed to get another dose.
After a day without I am physically weak, nauseous, I cannot sleep except perhaps in 5 minutes spurts here and there and I will do almost anything needed to get another dose.
Where most drugs on the black market may go dry, this drug is always there, any time I enter a pharmacy I can buy a huge bottle for the same price a gram of pot costs here, it’s perpetually in my face.
I’m unsure if I’ll ever be able to fully beat the addiction, each time I try I wind up saying “just one more bottle and that’s it, I’m done” and thus begins the repeating cycle of trying, failing, then using to deal with the shame of said failure, it’s a vicious cycle that is more difficult than I could have imagined to get around. I’m not trying to suggest this is a “bad” drug by any means, as I’ve said I love the stuff, it’s like opiates were made for me. It could be worse too, I could be shooting heroin to get my high and blowing veins, but I’m no less an addict than any of these people. I may be a functional addict, I attend school, I get honor roll grades, I’m well liked by everyone I associate with, I work to fund my schooling and I generally lead a very normal life, but in the end it always comes back to this little cup of water I’m holding in my hands right now. My normal life is built around this alkaloid without which I’m unsure I would be able to cope with life. Since I’ve been using for SO very long I’m quite certain I’ve severely retarded my capacity to cope with stress in any manner than turning to a substance to maintain my homeostasis, without it I become a wreck.
I can understand really wishing to try this drug, and in many countries one can’t get codeine without a prescription. I fell into the trap I knowingly walked into believing I would control myself when I got into this deeply, making the mistake of thinking of it as a “nothing” drug simply because a pharmacist gives it to me. It got a hold of me and there’s little in life I can think of more difficult than getting clean after becoming dependent on it. Its danger doesn’t simply lie in its addictiveness, but in the subtle sense of safety it affords. I said “there’s no way I’ll become addicted too”, and yet here I am, injecting codeine rectally in order to feel normal and function.
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