used for its analgesic (pain killing), antitussive (cough medicine) and antidiarrhoeal properties.
common applications include pain pills and cough syrup. its OTC purchase is regulated. in most countries, preparations are only available OTC in low concentrations and in combination with paracetamol (acetaminophen) (as co-codamol), with aspirin (as co-codaphrin) or with ibuprofen.
it is available without prescription in combination preparations from licensed pharmacists in doses up to 8 mg/tablet in Canada, 13.8 mg/tablet in Australia, 15 mg/tablet in New Zealand and 12.8mg/tablet in the UK (with paracetamol or ibuprofen).
as it is an opiate, its effects are similar to those of morphine and heroin (although less potent and with a slower onset).
good effects include euphoria, sedation, relaxation, pain relief, the feeling of warmth, and a general sense of well-being.
bad effects include itchiness (common with all opiates, this lasts the duration of the high), nausea, lowered libido (temporary and lasts the duration of the high), and constipation.
its ease of acquisition and purification from pain pills via cold-water extraction means that it is sometimes used recreationally. it can be ingested orally, rectally (see booty bumping), or injected intramuscularly. it should never be injected intravenously or insufflated. if you want to use something like co-codamol or co-codaphrin to achieve a codeine high, extracting the codeine is essential - acetaminophen and aspirin are hepatotoxic and easy to overdose on.
in certain areas of the US, notably Texas, prescription strength codeine-containing cough syrup with promethazine (known as lean) is often mixed with a soft drink such as Sprite, to make a drink known as purple drank or sizzurp. this was made popular by BIG RED, a rapper from Southern California. the hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.
rappers Paul Wall, Mike Jones, T.I., Beanie Sigel, Big Moe, Slim Thug, Fat Joe, and Z-Ro sip purple drank.