The history of the use of codeine wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that it is used by many as
a “recreational” drug. In fact, many people use codeine simply to get a “buzz” or get high. That’s
especially true with codeine-based cough medicine, which is widely abused and has been
responsible for many overdoses and deaths, including that of rapper “Pimp C” from the rap group
UGK, who overdosed and died from “syrup” aka “purple drank” aka “sizzurp.”
Many countries throughout the world employ narcotic control laws to regulate the use of codeine.
Some countries, however, do allow for its purchase over-the-counter without a prescription, which
can more easily lead to abuse and addiction. Remember, codeine is an opiate, the same as is
morphine and heroin, and the regular use of this drug will cause physical, as well as emotional
and/or mental addiction.
One of the biggest problems with codeine is the perception that it is mild and not a danger like other
notorious opiates like heroin. This is only partly true.
Regular use of cough syrups or other elixirs that contain codeine are as dangerous as regular use of
Oxycontin or any other opiate. Sure, it might take a longer period of continual use to become
addicted to codeine, but the difference stops there. Once addicted, the road back to a pre-codeine
normalcy is at once arduous and painful. It also usually requires professional rehabilitation.
Consumers need always to be aware of codeine’s inherent risks.