COMMON NAME: schoolboy

Known to than since before recorded history, codeine is the least expensive, most effective cough suppressant and minor pain reliever available.

Although the drug is an opiate narcotic, only excessive, prolonged use can addict. Even then, withdrawal is less traumatic than that from heroin or morphine.

Chemically called methylmorphine, codeine is extracted from the milky juice of the poppy plant. Unlike its big brothers heroin and morphine, codeine is effective when ingested orally in cough syrup or tablet form. It is difficult to abuse intravenously because it is barely soluble, yet it is often . used by drug addicts when other opiates are unavailable or to ease withdrawal pain.

Codeine is an ingredient in hundreds of medical compounds and depresses. the central nervous system. This action not only relieves coughs and minor pains but also constricts the bowels, causing constipation. A less common effect is nausea., The drug's general effects are. milder . than those of morphine, but provide more pain relief than aspirin, Darvon, Demerol, Percodan, Tylenol, or Empirin. Some tendency toward psychological dependence' exists, since codeine produces a sedated and euphoric "high." And because tolerance develops to its mildly pleasant dreaminess, the abuser may suffer from anxiety, depression, and irritability when use is discontinued. The nonabuser, using it up to two or three weeks for a cough or toothache, can safely use it without fear. Often combined with aspirin, antihistamines, decongestants, or antitussives in multiple painkillers, it is sold by pharmacies under such names Actifed-C, Ambenyl, Novahistine DH, Phenergan, Benylin, Phenaphen, Codeine Sulfate, Codeine Phosphate,   and   Empirin ; Compound   with Codeine Phosphate.

Although regulated under Schedule II of the federal Controlled Substances Act, when used properly codeine can be medically beneficial without the specter of addiction.