By: Zachary D. Carpenter

What is Codeine?

Codeine is an opioid pain medication used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. It is prescription only, and can be found in cough syrups as a pain and cough reducer.

Drug Class

Codeine is an analgesic drug, an opiate drug, and an antidiarrhoeal drug.

How is Codeine Taken?

Codeine by itself can be taken orally by a pill or tablet. Codeine can also be taken through a cough syrup.

Slang/Street Names for Codeine

  • purple drank

  • texas tea

  • cody

  • schoolboy

  • sizzurp

  • when mixed with other drugs:

    • loads

    • pancakes and syrup

    • fours and doors

    • empi

    • With Tylenol: (number based on strength of codeine)

      • T-One

      • T-Two

      • T-Three

      • T-Four

How Does Codeine Affect the Body? (Short Term)

  • Common: drowsiness, incomplete or infrequent bowel movements, inducing a relaxed and easy state, stomach cramps

  • Rare: blocked bowels with no movement, pancreatitis, seizures, slow heartbeat, anxious, chronic trouble sleeping, diarrhea, involuntary quivering, irritation of the stomach or intestines, low energy, spasm of bile duct tract, temporary redness of face and neck

How Does Codeine Affect the Body? (Long Term)

Codeine abuse csan cause acute pancreatitis, liver and kidney damage, increased sensitivity to pain, major depression, muscle twitches spasms cramps and pain, respiratory depression, cold clammy skin, lack of muscle tone, coma, seizures, or death.

Signs of Abuse

  • Mood symptoms: depression, anxiety, emotional numbing, euphoria, sense of well being and calmness, mood swings

  • Behavioral Symptoms: withdrawing from loved ones, social isolation, forging codeine prescriptions, visiting more than one doctor to obtain more codeine, vague complaints of pain, stealing and borrowing codeine, financial problems, codeine fixation, apathy, indifference towards social aspects of life, ordering codeine online, faking sickness, lying, social problems, sleepiness, poor performance at work or school, “nodding off” while talking

  • Physical Symptoms: dizziness, dry mouth, fainting, constipation, itching, rashes, urinary retention, low blood pressure, decreased libido, respiratory depression, seizures

  • Psychological Symptoms: psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, worsening of mental health, worse memory, lack of emotion

The Type of Addiction/Dependence Codeine Can Cause

Physical and psychological- Codeine gives the user a sense of calmness and well being, and also causes the release of neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain’s reward center. This effect leads to a physical and psychological addiction to the drug.