Citation: GendC. "Never Been Tempted to Ramp Up Use: An Experience with Codeine (with Aspirin & Caffeine) (exp35249)". Erowid.org. Jan 17, 2007. erowid.org/exp/35249
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This an overview of my experience with Codeine over the past 9 months.
I take AC&C pills (aspirin w/ codeine, available OTC in Canada), usually 20 at a time (at 8mg per pill, so 160mg total), filtered with coffee filters, around once a week on average. So far I have not noticed any tolerance or withdrawal symptoms, so I presume my doses are small and infrequent enough to be safe.
I find codeine to be a very pleasant, relaxing drug that begins to take effect within 20 minutes and lasts around 3-4 hours although it tails off after the two hour mark. As someone else mentioned, the effects are comparable to a few drinks in the evening, but last longer and are more consistent. In fact, I'm surprised that codeine 'abuse' is not more widespread, because I enjoy it a lot.
There are some side effects, which may explain the above, and which I manage to work around:
- I sometimes get a bit itchy. This is counteracted by taking a single antihistamine (dramamine) tablet before ingesting the codeine, which incidentally seems to make the trip more relaxing as well.
- Pupils constricted. No big deal, but someone will occasionally remark that my eyes look really, really blue. ;)
- Interferes with digestion. CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM. In the early days I would eat after taking codeine and end up with a stomach ache that would keep me up all night. Not fun at all. To avoid indigestion, I make sure I haven't eaten in at least 2 hours, and will not eat again until AT LEAST four hours after ingestion. This means of course that I cannot eat for six hours straight, and so limits the times when I can comfortably take codeine.
- Insomnia. Caused in large part no doubt by the caffeine (15mg/pill) that does not get separated by the filtration process. I only take codeine in the afternoon so both the opiate and caffeine have completely worn off by bedtime.
- If I have responsibilities (e.g. baby) when on codeine, I sometimes feel very irritable when my relaxed state is interrupted. It's a strange feeling to be euphoric and yet annoyed at the same time. I don't bother unless I know I will not be interrupted during the trip.
- This is not a side effect, but because the relaxing and euphoriant effects are subtle, I don't do anything strenuous (physically or mentally) while on the codeine. The effects can easily be overwhelmed.
That's it. As you can see, the side effects mean there are only so many times and places where codeine is worth the trouble. I see this is a benefit because it means I will not be tempted to impulsively take the drug, say, on weeknights. In nine months, I have never been seriously tempted to ramp up my use.
I'm interested in drugs that genuinely add to one's life, on the long term. It appears that I may have found just such a drug in codeine.
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